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London's Globe Theatre.  Tickets for the Prescott performances of "Hamlet" will go on sale April 23rd - Shakespeare's birthday!   Photo:  Todd Moe
London's Globe Theatre. Tickets for the Prescott performances of "Hamlet" will go on sale April 23rd - Shakespeare's birthday! Photo: Todd Moe

Globe's Hamlet coming to Prescott

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The St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival in Prescott, Ontario, has been chosen to host the world famous Globe Theatre for productions of Shakespeare's Hamlet this summer. It's the only Canadian stop on the famed theatre's 2014 international tour.

The Globe's touring cast, from London, England, will present two performances of Hamlet on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival.

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Todd Moe
Morning Host and Producer

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St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival's artistic director Ian Farthing.
St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival's artistic director Ian Farthing.
"Globe to Globe: Hamlet" celebrates the 450th anniversary of the birth of Shakespeare, who founded the London company and created its famous theatre in the round.

The troupe will tour Hamlet through more than 200 countries over the next two years.

The Festival's Artistic Director, Ian Farthing, told Todd Moe it's a "cultural coup" for the small Ontario town.

Ian Farthing: “I mean, how often does a small town get the chance to have a world class theatre company come and make its only Canadian stop on a world tour.

Todd Moe: “This is a big deal. I mean, this is very exciting. This is really a feather in your cap.”

Ian: “It is. I mean, the equivalent would be if the local concert association got Luchiano Pavorotti to sing.”

Todd: “So how did this all come about? Did you approach the folks at The Globe or were the looking for a venue in Canada?”

Ian: “They actually approached us. At the end of November, there are a number of factors that led into that. As a festival we’re members of an organization called the Shakespeare Theatre Association which has an annual conference. Last January at the conference I met Tom Bird, who is the executive produce at The Globe and we got on very well, and I guess he remembered me. And then also, The Globe asked the Canadian High Commission for their recommendations, and apparently Prescott was offered as one of the suggestions. So rather than going to Stratford, Ontario, or the National Arts Center, or to Toronto which are the big centers, The Globe decided to go for little old Prescott, I think primarily because of our beautiful waterfront amphitheater which is unique. With this project, they’re taking Hamlet on tour to every single country in the world over two years. And I think they’re interested in finding unique venues on the way that they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else, so we lucked out because of that.”

Todd: “What do you need to do to prepare for this production? Do you need to change anything in terms of the space or the stage?”

Ian: “Because they’re going to all of these weird and wacky places over the two year period, the production is designed in a way that it can fit into any space. They’re actually not even started rehearsals yet, so we’ll find out I guess nearer the time what their specific requirements will be. We’ll find out nearer the time what their specific requirements will be. But in terms of the production, they’re used to being outdoors because the Globe is an outdoor venue and I think it’s a really good fit.”

Todd: “Have you thought of a penny crowd there at the amphitheater? I mean, you never know, you might end up getting a lot of ticket requests. I mean, do you think about seating and capacity and things like that.”

Ian: “Yes, we anticipate this to sell out. We have a maximum of 400 tickets for each show. They’re going to go on sale on April 23rd, which is Shakespeare’s birthday and we anticipate that they’re going to sell out pretty fast.”

Todd: “This show has been getting rave reviews. This particular production of Hamlet has been getting rave reviews in the U.K.”

Ian: “The performance is directed by Dominic Dromgroole, who’s the current artistic director of The Globe. What’s interesting is that the performance aesthetic at the Globe is not similar to what we have here. There’s a very real connection with the audience partly to do with the fact that you’re performing outdoors when you can see each other. So it’s interesting, particularly because we only did Hamlet last summer. It’s going to be interesting for our regular audiences to be able to compare the two productions.”



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