another review of Hamlet private - great!

Read it here on Helsingin sanomat... or below in my English translation...

Talmeh Questions Your Will
Hamlet can also be performed like this: as a half-hour Tarot reading for one spectator at a time.

by Suna Vuori, Helsingin Sanomat 15.1.2013

Hamlet private. Concept and directing Martina Marti, Finnish translation Jukka-Pekka Pajunen, pictures Marion Maisano, actress Cécile Orblin. Gnab Collective's performances at Cafe Talo in Hakaniemi.

Shakespeare's Hamlet is not the world's most famous and one of the most enigmatic plays for nothing. Written over 400 years ago, the classic of classics is so versatile that it can be done almost anyway you want - for example as a half-hour Tarot-like reading for one actress and one spectator at a time.

For their production Hamlet private director Martina Marti, designer Marion Maisano and actress Cécile Orblin have developed an exciting Talmeh card system which exposes "the fundamental human problem, i.e. the difficulty of making a decision". At the same time it promises to show us the influence of our choices on others and "to help us dither".

What happens in practice is that Orblin interprets picture cards chosen by the spectator in a cafe at a table decorated with a skull.

The pictures all show Orblin herself in different situations which those who know Hamlet can relate to key scenes of the play. The cards also have names, like Mother, Poison, Ghost, Friend, Clown.

The actress instructs the spectator to shuffle the card deck and think about a central question of his or her life. Then she draws from the downward facing pack and explains all together six from the 22 cards. In the mind of the spectator the explanations may become interpretations of his or her own life situation.

Everything depends on the will: even if you don't believe in Tarot, let alone Talmeh, giving in to the situation may open interesting perspectives about Hamlet, theatre, art, people in general, the spectator in particular...

After that the actress arranges the six cards chosen by "Fortuna" anew so that they form the story of the Prince of Denmark, or at least part of it.

My own Hamlet version which the actress addresses to me in the second person ends just before the mass murder at the end of the play. I don't regret it.

Connecting the spectator's situation so boldly to Hamlet's austere fate proves to be charmingly light, an effortlessly intimate encounter with very different issues.

The aim of the creators - to explore how one play can time and time again describe such different people, their qualities, relationships, choices and situations - fulfills itself in many ways. In addition, it is universal, at least as long as the spectators are familiar with Hamlet's story.

The easily approachable and warm Cécile Orblin performs Hamlet private not only in Finnish but also in Swedish, French and English and has already toured the performance in Iceland.


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