HAVANA, 8 August (EFE) Havana joined in the celebration of the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth with the first visit of the famed London theater group The Globe and its performance of “Hamlet.” The Globe twice presented “Hamlet” on Thursday at the downtown Mella Theater as part of the world tour that began last April in London to mark the 450 years since Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born.
Cuba is the first Spanish-speaking country chosen for a performance by the company, which in Thursday’s “Hamlet” helped the audience understand the actors with subtitles shown on a screen. “It’s quite an occasion that they’re here. Shakespeare is an author kept continually alive in Cuba. All our great directors have produced their own versions of his works,” Carlos Celdran, a leading figure of Cuban theater, told Efe.
Cuban playwright and critic Norge Espinosa noted that The Globe is Shakespeare’s ambassador to the world – it uses actors of all ages and ethnicities and shows how the English continue to “maintain a dialogue” with the author.
Cuban theater’s chief tribute to the English author will be staged at the 24th International Ballet Festival of Havana in October, which will present a dance version of “Romeo and Juliet” produced by one-time ballerina and current director of the company, Alicia Alonso.
Before arriving in Cuba from the Bahamas, the English company had appeared in Norway, Russia, Finland, Ukraine, Croatia and the United States. From Cuba it will continue on to the Yucatan in Mexico, followed by such Caribbean nations as Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, as well as countries of Central America.
The original Globe Theatre where Shakespeare’s plays were first performed was built in 1599 on the banks of the River Thames.