An Analysis Of Jung Ung Yang's Hamlet

815 Words2 Pages

Hamlet, performed by the Yohangza Theatre Company of Korea and directed by Jung-ung Yang, is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet that integrates the Korean Shamanist rituals with the original storyline and text. Performed in Korean and featuring an all Korean cast, the play made its debut in 2009 at the Myeongdong Theater in Seoul. The play was layer also performed at the at the 2010 Oz Asia Festival in Adelaide, the 2011 Shakespeare-Festival Neuss in Germany, and at the Peacock Theatre in London in 2014 (Yung). It is clear that many liberties are taken in this adaptation of Hamlet; therefore, evaluating the effectiveness of the overall production based on the accuracy of the play in relation to the original text will be unfruitful. Instead, …show more content…

Described as an “image-based play” that “harmonizes” the usage of physical acting, light, and sound, Yang’s Hamlet aims to limit the usage of dialogue, and to instead focus heavily on symbolism and sensory experiences (OzAsia, 2). This is evident in the artistic design of the production – from the barren stage and the simple and dull costumes, to the exaggerated actions and expression of the actors and the constant rhythmic beating of the drums. The play is filled with a sense of urgency, desolation, and violence, reflecting of the raw emotional state of the characters – a world that is harsh and devoid of warmth. This contrasts starkly with the staging of the shamanist rituals, which while simple, seems to be filled with life and elements of nature – from the bed of rice that surrounds the stage, the usage of water and candles, to the elaborate and colorful traditional costumes. This contrast supports Yang’s production concept: Shamanist rituals as a constant source of warmth and solace, unaffected by however grim or gray the world becomes. It represents the only path characters of the play can regain their harmony in a discordant world, whether they are in emotional anguish, on their deathbeds, or even after

Open Document