By Danny Gaisin
Precisely one year ago today, this scribe was in Stratford to attend the 2015 production of HAMLET. An amazing presentation, it was one of last year’s Arts Review’s TOP TEN LIST! Today, through the generosity of Sun Life Financial; the CBC aired a taping of that performance sans commercial breaks (eat your heart out trivago & Leons!). In addition to getting out my dog-eared Shakespeare compendium, I re-printed my originally published critique. Alas, three (3) little letters had been omitted…sort of like “for want of a nail etc.”
In describing the portrayals of support roles – courtiers Guildenstern and Rosencrantz read by Steve Ross & Sanjay Talwar respectively. I wrote that the duo managed the roles with reverting to ham or buffoonery. Obviously, the opinion should have read “without” reverting…. So very sorry and wish some reader had written to offer a different opinion!
Director Cimolino seems to have an innate sense of what a little tweaking or polishing can do to an iconic piece of theatre. HAMLET and this year’s Macbeth are but two examples of the man’s talent and also of Stratford’s highest standard of thespian flair. Revisiting (via the tube) Wyn Davies; Seana McKenna; Tom Rooney; Adrienne Gould; Tim Campbell and especially Jonathan Goad in the demanding title role meant that I could recite some of the memorable dialogue without getting elbowed by the muse.
For Stratford and their corporate sponsor to bring such classics to air widens the audience as well as affording exposure to those folks who may oft-time distain the classics. The Stratford Festival is a Provincial gem and the fact that one meets so many Americans, Europeans and visitors from further East does immense benefit to our cultural stature on the World’s stage. Next week, it’s the 2015 staging of PERICLES; same time same station.
Hint: – To some over-liquid commercial operation; SHAW and its presentations are also available!!!