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Am Dienstag, dem 19. Februar 2019, besuchte das Vienna's English Theatre die Oberstufe mit dem Stück "Hamlet".

Hamlet adapted by Clive Duncan

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VET`s (Vienna`s English Theatre) Blue Tour has shown that a play from about 400 years ago has lost none of its attraction and appeal, it is still a great success with various audiences – Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

The four actors Claire, Lucas, Peter and Eddy (each of them has played parts in different Shakespeare dramas) gave a brilliant performance of the timeless thriller in the Festsaal of the Konvikt. Whereas the original play, in full performance, is a five hour experience, Clive Duncan`s adapted version is shortened to sixty minutes. He has edited the storyline and tightened up the structure, thus making the story more logical and coherent so that the text is accessible even for B1 level students. He has even recreated the iambic pentameter.

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“The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is possibly Shakespeare`s most famous play. It has been performed more than any other play in the history of theatre. It is the most popular play ever written and has been translated into dozens of languages.

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Although Hamlet is a prince and the play is set in a castle, it is very much a family story. A university student learns that his much-loved father has died. By the time he gets home, his uncle has married his mum and been crowned king, and the girl he loves dumps him without an explanation.

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Hamlet falls into despair, doesn`t dress, eat or sleep properly, talks of suicide and is unable to do anything positive. Though Hamlet fails to act – he vows to avenge his father`s death but again and again hesitates. This way Shakespeare is presenting a real human being, not an action hero.”

In the Author`s note Clive Duncan points out that there are many aspects to “Hamlet”. He focused on Hamlet`s state of mind because he says mental health is a growing issue. 1 in 5 young adults have a diagnosable mental health disorder, while suicide is the most common cause of death for boys aged 5-19 and the second most common cause for girls that age (compare www.schooltours.at).

Text: OStR. Prof. Mag. Mathilde Friesacher
Bilder: www.schooltours.at

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