Notes for Hamlet Presentation
First production of Hamlet brought by The Globe to Russia
The Moscow Art Theatre
Partnership of directors
Build up to World War I
CLICK: According to The British Council records, the first production of Hamlet was taken to Russia by The Globe. It was one of the first of Shakespeare’s plays to be performed in Russian theatres in the mid 19th century. I could find no information about this performance and in many cases, articles would claim that Stanislavski and Craig’s production was the first. CLICK: Their production of Hamlet was performed at The Moscow Art Theatre by a group of Stanislavski’s hand-picked actors. Hamlet was played by Vasily Kachalov, who was one of Stanislavski’s best known actors and he was known for his powerful voice. The production that helped The Moscow Art Theatre achieve fame was Chekhov’s The Seagull, which was performed in 1898. It was so successful that the Theatre adopted a Seagull as its emblem. This performance was co-directed by Stanislavski and another director - Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko. It was actually him who created the first “acting” and “directing” style of The Moscow Art Theatre. It was because of that style that critics considered it to be one of the greatest theatres in the world at that time. CLICK: With Hamlet, Edward Gordon-Craig was invited to work with Stanislavski. Stanislavski and I quote, “hoped to prove that his recently developed ‘system’ for producing internally justified, realistic acting could meet the formal demands of a classic play.” Basically, he wanted to test his new acting ‘system’. However, Craig’s very stylised approach to theatre and use of symbolism was completely the opposite of what Stanislavski was hoping for and there was a lot of conflict between them and their directing styles. At one point, in rehearsals, Craig proposed to Stanislavski that everything in the play should be “conveyed without words”, to which Stanislavski...
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