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TOPIC: Any tips for cutting Hamlet?

Any tips for cutting Hamlet? 5 months 1 week ago #6864

Hugh wrote:
It's clear you have some strong ideas, which should make for a strong production, and lots of interest for those familiar with the play. Good on you. But 4 hours! Whew -- sounds like the Kabuki version.

We think 2 hrs was standard in The Globe: "our two hours traffic on the stage." So beyond our own experience, other original performance condition companies do manage to cut modestly and perform within that time frame. I would refer you to The American Shakespeare Theater, Black Friars, Staunton VA.

That said, there are published likely running times per number lines, but I have found them excessive, if you are moving along and tight on the pick ups. Can you have several people read it for you, tell them to emphasize the verse, and time that? The verse makes it possible to go fast, because even if the audience only hears the stressed syllables, they "get it." e.g. "be not be is question" communicates the same content as "To be or not to be, that is the question." Try reading it that way and see if it's short enough.

Given your interest in Fortinbras, you may enjoy reading the Lee Blessing play by the same name about what happens next. I also enjoyed "Claudius and Gertrude" by John Updike, as I was trying to give Claud a human dimensionality.

I very much look forward to seeing your video clip.

Break a leg.

Well I certainly do NOT want the running time to be 4 hours. I'm just concerned about whether I time it accurately. Your idea sounds good but I don't know if I can find anyone to do that for me, at least not in the near future. Plus, one reason it took me so long reading it was that I may have gotten restless in my depressing house which could have added time. I dunno.

I have heard of the play "fortinbras" but haven't read it yet. It would definitely interest me.
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Any tips for cutting Hamlet? 5 months 3 days ago #6867

OK, so, here's what I did.

The first folio (which I got from this website) is performable length. I copied and pasted that into a word document and compared the length of it to my cut of the play. (I of course made sure it was the same size and font, etc). If the first folio is longer than my cut, would it be logic to assume that my cut is of a performable length? (Roughly 2 and a half hours?)

:S :woohoo: :oops: :silly: :dry: :unsure: :ohmy: :huh: B)
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Any tips for cutting Hamlet? 4 months 3 weeks ago #6869

TheGhostofOphelia wrote:
OK, so, here's what I did.

The first folio (which I got from this website) is performable length. I copied and pasted that into a word document and compared the length of it to my cut of the play. (I of course made sure it was the same size and font, etc). If the first folio is longer than my cut, would it be logic to assume that my cut is of a performable length? (Roughly 2 and a half hours?)

:S :woohoo: :oops: :silly: :dry: :unsure: :ohmy: :huh: B)

What do y'all think? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

:D
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Any tips for cutting Hamlet? 4 months 3 weeks ago #6870

  • Ron Severdia
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Yes, it would seem they would be a comparable length if the line counts are more or less the same.

If you want to "donate" your version to the library, go here:

www.playshakespeare.com/library

...and click the Submit File button to upload it.
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