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Production description

This 2007 production of Hamlet directed by Yoshihiro Kurita relies on elements of traditional noh theatre, bunraku, and the epic story-telling tradition of Japan to re-imagine Shakespeare’s play. The Hamlet character remains seated at the front of the stage throughout the performance while delivering his lines, as the other characters move behind him like figures from a memory or dream.


Performance dates:
November 28 – December 1, 2007 – Ryutopia Noh Theatre, Niigata, Japan
December 7-9, 2007 – Tessenkai Noh Theatre, Tokyo, Japan

Performers: Hamlet: Kohchi Hirokazu, Claudius: Tanida Ayumi, Gertrude: Yamaga Haruyo, Ophelia: Machiya Misaki, Laertes: Nakaide Ken, Ghost of Hamlet, the late King of Denmark: Arai Kazuma, Horatio: Minami Takuya, Rosencranz: Murakami Hiroyasu, Guildenstern: Nawa Wakako, Polonius/ Gravedigger: Kurita Yoshihiro, Tsukaima: Nagatomi Chiaki, Ohyama Maeko, Isono Tomoyo, Joruri: Tsurusawa Asazo, and Piano Player: Yokoyama Michiko

Translator / Scriptwriter: Matsuoka Kazuko

Producer: Production Adviser: Sasabe Hiroshi (Ryutopia Theatre section Artistic Director) and Executive Producer: Suzuki Eiko (Ryutopia Manager)

Designers: Choreography of Dolls (for Tsukaima): Tamaki Akihisa, Lighting Designer: Harayama Mikihiro (Ryutopia), Costume Designer: Tokihiro Shingo (Lyric Ltd.), Make-up: Satoh Kei, Prop Designer: Goto Nobuko, Music: Tsurusawa Asazo, Yokoyama Michiko, Sound: Butoh Tatsuya (Ryutopia), Stage Manager: Shiiya Tadahiro (Ryutopia), and Planning: Hoshino Atsushi (Ryutopia), Ishida Satoru (Ryutopia)



Comments (2):

  1. Richard Simons says:

    Is there a transcript (in Japanese) or a script for this version of Hamlet anywhere online?

    • Belinda Yung says:

      Hello Richard, we do not have a copy of the script in Japanese. You may want to check the A|S|I|A ( archive and see if a script is available there.

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    Kurita, Yoshihiro | Productions

    Source: Courtesy of Ryutopia Noh-theatre Shakespeare

    Full video

    Note: This is the full video

    Duration: 01:57:12

    preview of Duel scene

    Note: Karakuri or mechanized puppets (dolls) duel during a recitation of the Fall of Troy by the players.

    Claudius repents

    Note: Hamlet witnesses Claudius praying.

    Players arrive

    Note: Polonius (played by the director Yoshihiro Kurita) announces the arrival of the players. Hamlet requests that they perform a scene from the Fall of Troy.

    Duel scene

    Note: The duel between Hamlet and Laertes is mimed by mechanized puppets (dolls) while the main characters speak the dialog.

    Fall of Troy repeated in Duel scene

    Note: During the duel between Laertes and Hamlet, lines from the Fall of Troy are repeated as the Queen, King, and Prince die.

    Madness in Ophelia

    Note: Ophelia's movements in the "mad scene" evoke those of the mechanized puppets used elsewhere in the production.