Thursday, November 18, 2010

Some clips from earlier, English-language Al-Hamlet Summit

Here's a 17-minute promo montage of the earlier, English-language version of Sulayman Al-Bassam's Al-Hamlet Summit. This version features Neil Edmond as Hamlet, Nigel Barrett as Claudius (you'll recognize him as the Arms Dealer of the Arabic version), Tea Alagic as Ophelia, Olivia Williams as Gertrude, and Simon Kane as Polonius. The rest of the cast and production credits are on page 26 in the published play.
Don't be alarmed by the skipped pieces and the jumping between scenes. You can see that it's recorded during a performance. In some ways the production became sharper and more professional during its Arabic-language run, but this shows you the development process.
This first version did not include Hamlet's prayer at his father's grave (the whole open space/grave came later - it was just the "summit" setup) or the Horse of War skit. The Arms Dealer was female, played by Marlene Kaminsky. All the dialogue was in English. How would you compare it to the Arabic version? What does the mixing of languages add?

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