Yesterday, Sunday (August 24, 2015) CCP's Little Theater, better known as Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, was host to Hamlet. This was the work of Terruno Espressivo and Shakespeare's Globe.
For a little background, the goal of this tour is to hit all 205 nations in 2 years, marking the 450th year of Shakespeare's birth and the 400th year of his death. Thus, unfortunately, the Philippines only had 2 shows marked on the same day at CCP.
What do I think? This play was very much worth it, even for those who aren't big fans of his work (in general).
While the staging and cast was very minimalist, given the trouble of importing a set for a mere day, the use of sparse materials was quite interesting. Slight differences in dress and movement changed characters and the settings adequately. Knowing afterwards that they were not optimally manned at the time, I was impressed at how fluid the transitions were between place and people.
The acting was also quite good for all characters, though I admit I could not see the nuances in their expressions given my position up above. I, seeing their 2 pm show, was disappointed that I didn't get any tickets for the evening one: apparently they switch casts regularly. I think it would have been interesting, and worth it, to see the differences in both.
Their rendition of Hamlet was on the modern side, with bits and pieces cut out. However, their adaptation is more fluid, modern and relatable than the text one reads in a book. I think that the version I watched is most recommendable to, aside from Shakespeare lovers, those who want to get a deeper appreciation of his work (as adults) or those who want to get a feel for how the play would have been felt previously: most renditions of Hamlet are (I feel) too serious, but Shakespeare's main audience would have been "groundlings."
It was well worth watching, and I only wish I could see it move through the world.
Also, that something like it comes again.
PS. Dulaang UP will be doing Romeo and Juliet and King Lear this year. I hope I have time!