Monday, November 22, 2010

"Unto our climatures and countrymen" : Hamlet on Alcatraz:

This Saturday I went to watch Hamlet on Alcatraz, the weather was nice up to the point of the ferry ride. That is when the chilling wind started to blow. Once we landed we were greeted by more freezing winds, the trees appeared to be mad which served the scene quite adequately (the ghostly figures were appearing). It appeared that throughout the play, the environment was another actor in the scenes since it enhanced the mood of the play and it made the production more dramatic.

The rain began to pour down on us when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were introduced. After a couple more scenes we went inside. We were in for quite a while that we did not realize how drastically the weather had changed. When we were outside for the last outdoor scene (I do not remember which one) the weather was terrible. From the moment I stepped outside the entire surrounding landscape had disappeared, it was hidden by
the fog, it was as if we were in the middle of the ocean. We were taken somewhere for a scene and all that I could here were the crashing waves on the rocks and the thunder. The rain was pouring hard on us and the wind was so strong it literally pushed us and there were times when I moved solely because of the wind’s will, not mine. There was also lightening that illuminated the area, just enough to see the people around us. Finally, we were led back in.

The next scene was where Hamlet confronted his mother. Then the ghost of his father appeared, he was hidden behind some opaque windows. His appearance was illuminated by the lightening, making the scene creepy. Then at the moment when Hamlet struck Polonius there was raging thunder. The thunder, rain, lightening, and winds continued onto the final scene where most of the characters died. The audience, I included, were overcome by the special effects offered by the climate. It definitely made the scenes more vivid.


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