Thursday, 2 October 2008

Elsinore (1995)


"Elsinore', by Robert Lepage, is a solo-performer production of 'Hamlet' that was first performed in Toronto in April 1996. An Earlier French-language production of Elsineur was performed in Montreal in September 1995. The play is performed with an enormous computer-controlled multimedia machine made up of modular flats that can be either performed or projected upon."

'What draws me to 'Hamlet' is his ability to forge a link between the acts he must undertake and his own thoughts. In a private moment, he says to Horatio 'Give me that man that is not passion's slave and I will wear him in my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart.' And yet, isn't the absence of blind passion that prevents him from doing what he has to do? In any case, 'Elsinore' is not a real 'Hamlet', but a tentative exploration of the intricacies of his thought and times and in some sense of my own.'
Robert Lepage

"Following 'Vinci' and 'The Needles And Opium', Robert Lepage is now completing his trilogy of one-man plays by taking on Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. With 'Elsinore', Lepage has created a remarkable synthesis of dazzling theatre technology and cinematic conventions (including film-like projected credits) to create an intensely personal, richly architectu ral take on the drama of Shakespeare. The production is an interactive video designed for one actor, embodied by Robert Lepage himself who plays all the roles, including Ophelia.

Lepage engages us not only with the rich text, but with the complex stage mechanics (designed by Carl Fillion), the multimedia effects (Jaques Collin), the video animation (Michel Petrin) and Robert Caux's soundscape.

The masterful use of these technologies makes the audience see things that they would not normally be able to see. Infrared and thermal cameras, sonar slides make it possible to see behind walls, to see the colour of Hamlet's despair, emphasizing thus the play's claustrophobic atmosphere. The actor, in something of a state of virtual reality, literally enters into the play. The stage is a set comprised of three moveable panels. The central one rotates into everything from a ship???s deck to the stairway to the Queen???s bedchamber. The cut-out at its center becomes a library window, a grave and the lake in which Ophelia drowns."

*Scarlett & Grace: What is the source for these quotes? This is excellent information but please ensure you reference the source* - Liam

Posted by Scarlett Brooke and Grace Mitchell

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