Shakespeare in Southern Africa

Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

Remember me or Register

DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT Open Access  DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT Subscription or Fee Access

Hamlet in England, Hamlet in Exile: What’s Hecuba to him, or Kupenga to them?

C Gordon


At the end of 2010, while London audiences flocked to see ‘a Hamlet for our age’ in Nicholas Hytner’s modern dress production (a catalogue of modern-dress ‘innovations’: media-savvy dictators, busy apparatchiks, surveillance, rioting, silenced dissidents, suited extras with conspicuous earpieces, all assembled on the National Theatre’s grand stage) a smaller audience gathered at London’s Oval Theatre to watch Kupenga Kwa Hamlet (The Madness of Hamlet), an eighty-minute two-man version after the ‘bad quarto’, performed in English and Shona. The production, which was warmly received in its first run, raises a number of questions touching the themes of this issue: questions about exile and expatriation, as well as xenophilia – in the international theatre’s embrace of foreigners (xenos) who tend to be guests, performing between two worlds.
AJOL African Journals Online