A Night of Shakespeare at the Strand

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 1 September 2015

RANGOON — Around 200 people gathered in Rangoon’s Strand Hotel on Monday evening for a theater performance by renowned London-based company Shakespeare’s Globe.

The performance of Shakespeare’s longest play, Hamlet, in Rangoon was part of the Globe’s world tour begun in April last year to mark the 450th anniversary of the playwright’s birth.

The Rangoon-stop was facilitated by Shakespeare Schools, a Burma-based charity that aims to foster awareness of theater and performance throughout the region.

Most audience members on the night were drawn from the former capital’s expat community, as ticket prices were steep at US$50 per head.

The two-year “Globe to Globe Hamlet” tour will see performances of the play in every country of the world if all goes to plan.

“Globe to Globe Hamlet was created with the aim of performing Hamlet to as many people as possible, in as diverse a range of places as possible,” Dominic Dromgoole, Globe’s artistic director and the director of Hamlet, said in the venture’s mission statement.

Khin Maung Htwe, part-owner of Rangoon marionette troupe Htwe Oo Myanmar, said he enjoyed the show for its simplicity, as performers took to the stage without microphones or makeup.

“Their original voices, art and performance was really enjoyable for us. We can learn a lot from them,” he said.

Ladi Emeruwa, who plays Hamlet in the production, told The Irrawaddy that he hoped many people enjoyed the performance.

Globe to Globe Hamlet has been performed in more than 100 countries across the Americas, Europe and Africa to around 90,000 people so far, the group states on their website.

UNESCO has supported the tour since October last year, in recognition of its engagement with local communities and promotion of cultural education.