North Korea reviews Hamlet


They, like generations of schoolchildren before them, think it doesn’t contain enough music, dancing and acrobatics:

Sad news for Shakespeare’s Globe: its planned visit to North Korea has been scrapped after failing to meet the country’s strict art requirements.

The theatre is, of course, halfway through a world tour of Hamlet, which it hopes will visit every country on the planet, and artistic director Dominic Dromgoole has spoken of his specific desire to bring the play to North Korea.

But it was not to be. The country apparently contacted Shakespeare’s Globe to say its production could go ahead, but only if the play involved music, dancing and acrobatics.

This, however, proved simply too high a mountain for the Globe to climb. As Droomgoole drily explained to The Times: “There is a limited amount of music, dancing and acrobatics in Hamlet.”

A shame, really, that the story will not be told in Kim Jong-un’s totalitarian state. Tabard imagines a young ruler who had his uncle executed for treason could find much in the play to enjoy.



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