Globe to Globe Hamlet

Shakespeare's Globe

A Two-Year Tour to Every Country in the World

Globe to Globe Hamlet
"In 1608, only eight years after it was written, Hamlet was performed on a boat – the Red Dragon – off the coast of Yemen. Just ten years later it was being toured extensively all over Northern Europe. The spirit of touring, and of communicating stories to fresh ears, was always central to Shakespeare’s work. We couldn’t be happier to be extending that mission even further. By train, coach, plane and boat we aim to take this wonderful, iconic, multifarious play to as many fresh ears as we possibly can.” Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe
The Tour
On 23 April 2014 – the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth – Shakespeare’s Globe embarked upon a two-year global tour of Hamlet to every country in the world. ‘Globe to Globe Hamlet’ is a completely unprecedented theatrical adventure.

T Row (L-R) A. Moore, P. Fildes, R. Paratene, J. Dougall, M. Romain, L. Emeruwa, B. Khan, A.Wilkin, N. Hayat, K. Bartlett, D. McEvoy, R. Austin. B Row (L-R) T. Lawrence, M. Foster, J. Leong, C. Burnham

Traveling with 14 trunks, three ski bags, one drum case, one piano accordion and two violins, the company carry all the sets, props, instruments and costumes with them throughout the two years.

The entire show can be constructed in approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes and taken down in under an hour.

A look inside trunk No. 8 - this trunk carries various musical instruments and key props including Ophelia's flowers, the Gravedigger's shovel and Yorick's skull.

The moon prop used by the 'Players' in the play with in a play - Act III Scene 2 (Click to see the back)

Yorick's Skull - used in the famous Gravedigger scene - Act V Scene 1

Also in Trunk #8 is a 1st Folio facsimile of Hamlet that is being signed by someone in each country the company visits. (Click to see inside)

Kiev, Ukraine Country No. 12
On May 25, 2014 Ukraine held their post-revolution presidential election. The Company had the honour of performing in Kiev on the eve of the election and visited the famous Maidan Square the following day, election day. 

Actor Matthew Romain on meeting the people of Kiev during their stop on the eve of the Presidential election.

Back (D.Droomgole, B.Khan, L.Emeruwa. J.Dougall, N.Hayat, A.Wilkin, M.Foster, C.Burnham, A.Moore, D.McEvoy, M.Romain, B.Austin, K.Bartlett, T.Bird. Front J.Leong, T.Lawrence, R.Paratene, P.Fildes

Front Row in Kiev - First Lady Maryna Poroshenko. President Petro Poroshenko, Miss Poroshenko, Natalia Egorova (Mayor of Kiev's Wife) Kiev Mayor, Vitali Klitschko.

Actor Ladi Emeruwa speaks about what it was like to play the role of Hamlet for President Poroshenko and Mayor Klitschko

Heraklea Lynkestis Amphitheater, Bitola, Macedonia Country No. 16
The Company had the experience of performing in the ancient Greek Amphitheatre dated to the middle of the 4th Century B.C. This was the first time they performed in an amphitheatre and really felt the history. 

Panoramic view of the amphitheatre

View from backstage as the audience arrives.

Green Room/Dressing Room in the ancient ruins

A look behind the curtain during a live performance of Hamlet. The non-traditional greenroom at the 4th Century Greek amphitheatre – Heraklea Lynkest

View from the top of the amphitheatre during the performance

The United Nations Country No. 28
On August 4, 2014 Hamlet was performed on a specially constructed stage inside the ECOSOC chamber, to an international audience, on the centenary of the start of the First World War.

The international audience included UN diplomats, dignitaries and celebrities, including former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, Canadian actress Kim Cattrall (pictured second from the left) and Artist Laurie Anderson (pictured Centre)

Wardrobe Mistress Carrie Burnham often has to improvise dressing rooms when performing in unconventional spaces - at the UN it was the balcony section of the Chamber.

Khartoum, Sudan Country No. 70
On 20 June, 2014 the Company traveled to the Sudan to perform at the 2000 seat outdoor National Theatre in Khartoum. The performance was free and thus, once all of the seats inside were full, people stood in the aisles, sat on the surrounding walls and roof tops and gathered outside the venue walls straining to hear. Although the were no official count of how many people ended up seeing the performance it is estimated a total of four to five thousand people attended.  

The National Theatre in Khartoum, Sudan. Dressed and ready for the show.

Actress Phoebe Fildes talks about her experience performing in Sudan where the show was free and nearly 5,000 people attended.

Over 3,000 people inside the theatre with nearly 2,000 trying to see outside the venue walls.

The over capacity audience - some people even sitting on walls and roof tops.

Curtain call and sound of the audience's appreciation in Khartoum, Sudan

Click to see the back

Butare, Rwanda Country No. 76
The Hamlet company was scheduled to preform in the Rwandan University Auditorium however, after repeated power failures the company evoked the mantra 'The Show Must Go On' and moved the entire production outside into the University's main square.

Video of the events during the show in Butare.

Stage Manager Dave McEvoy works with the company to re-assemble the set outside. The entire move took less than 25 minutes.

Actor Naeem Hayat speaks about the experience of being part of the audience in Butare.

Actor Beruce Khan enters from the audience.

Actresses Miranda Foster & Jennifer Leong speak about what an impromptu outdoor show meant to the people of Rwanda

Year Two
Globe to Globe Hamlet celebrated its one year anniversary in Madrid, Spain. As of June 2015, the company had traveled to over 100 countries and performed for more than 75,000 people around the world. 
The Pacific Islands Country No. 105 - 115
In June 2015 the company travelled to the 10 Pacific Island Nations. It was a very long and difficult journey,especially when the only airline traveling to these nations began to refuse to transport all of the sets, costumes and props. Upon arrival in each nation it was a constant discovery to find out what - of any - parts of the sets arrived. 

Our lovely set in the main quad of Nauru College, Nauru. Nauru is the smallest country in the Pacific and the third smallest nation state in the world behind only Vatican City and Monaco.

Due to the heavy rain, tents were put over the audience.

Funafuti, Tuvalu Country No. 117

Upon arrival we finally understood why an airport transfer was not necessary. The blue building on the right is the airport, the yellow building on the left is our venue. The shadow is the plane wing.

As there are very few flights to Tuvalu- no more than four weekly - the airstrip is used as a football field by locals.

The free show saw an over capacity, all-ages show with children sitting on the floor.

Some even choose to just lean in from outside.

An unexpected dog decided to join the company and joined Naeem Hayat (Hamlet) in one of his soliloquies.

A lovely postcard from the company shares first hand the unforgettable experience on this magical island. (Click to see back)

Micronesia saw the company with only instruments and what could be found locally as set, costumes and props. Despite these circumstances the show went on to a full house.

Naeem Hayat (Hamlet) used a foam skull donated by a local to use in the famous gravedigger scene.

All the actors pulled costume from their personal wardrobe, but what they lacked in costume they more than made up for in emotion as seen here from Amanda Wilkin's breakdown as Ophelia.

The sports auditorium fell completely silent as Nameem Hayat (Hamlet) dies in Phoebe Fildes' (Horatio) arms.

Click to see back

Kathmandu, Nepal Country No. 134
The company had the honour of performing in the breathtaking, historic, Basantapur Darbar Kshetra. Despite the devastating earthquake that ravaged Nepal 6 months before, the square survived. 

An incredible backdrop for our set in Kathmandu.

As we performed in a public square, many locals joined the audience around the edges of the corded off seating area.

Zaatari - Syrian Refugee Camp in Jordan Country No. 139
Due to security concerns in Syria, the Company was not permitted to perform in there. So instead they travelled to Zaatari, the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world where they performed for Syrian refugees and had an informal meet and greet with some local actors. All photos by Sarah Lee courtesy of the Guardian  

Ladi Emeruwa (Hamlet) uses the long bus journey to Zaatari for a quick nap. (by Sarah Lee)

(Photo by Sarah Lee)

Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole and Beruce Khan (Actor) help unload the trunks upon arrival. (Photo by Sarah Lee)

Stage Managers Adam Moore, Becky Austin, Carrie Burnham and Dave McEvoy work against the clock to get the set up in time.
(Photo by Sarah Lee)

With very little backstage space, Miranda Foster (Gertrude) does her hair and makeup with a pocket mirror and chair.
(Photo by Sarah Lee)

Jennifer Leong (Rosencrantz) does John Dougall's (Ghost) make-up as Rawiri Paratene (Polonius) looks on.
(Photo by Sarah Lee)

Ladi Emeruwa as Hamlet.
(Photo by Sarah Lee)

Amanda Wilkin as Ophelia
(Photo by Sarah Lee)

Miranda Foster as Gertrude
(Photo by Sarah Lee)

Keith Bartlett as Claudius
(Photo by Sarah Lee)

Tom Lawrence as Laertes
(Photo by Sarah Lee)

Ladi Emeruwa deliver's one of his famous soliloquies as Hamlet.
(Photo by Sarah Lee)

(Photo by Sarah Lee)

(Photo by Sarah Lee)

(Photo by Sarah Lee)

'Get thee to a nunnery' - a quick snap from the audience as Amanda Wilkin (Ophelia) is tossed aside in rage.
(Photo by Sarah Lee)

(Photo by Sarah Lee)

(Photo by Sarah Lee)

Miranda Foster shares her mandolin with local children in the camp.
(Photo by Sarah Lee)

Our trip to Zaatari marked our 18 month anniversary. This short video was made to look back at the 139 countries we reached thus far.

Shakespeare's Globe
Credits: Story

Curated by: Alexandra Breede & Helena Miscioscia on behalf of Shakespeare's Globe
Photos by: Becky Austin, Sarah Lee, David McEvoy, Helena Miscioscia and Amanda Wilkin
Videos by: Alexandra Breede, Jessica Lusk, Helena Miscioscia, Nik Stojkov, Abolfazl Talooni and Amanda Wilkin.
Globe to Globe Hamlet
Director: Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurt
Designer: Jonathan Fensom
Composer: Bill Barclay

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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