Remember Me: Homage to Hamlet at the Coronet Theatre
After a successful run of shows in 2018, the Italian Theatre Festival, under new director Marco Delogu, returns to the beautiful setting of the Coronet Theatre, where one of a series of separate performances sees award-winning Italian actor Fabrizio Gifuni deliver his theatrical ode to Shakespeare in Remember Me: An Homage to Hamlet, performed in Italian with English subtitles.
The beautiful, crumbling setting of this theatre building easily lends itself to this poignant piece set in bygone times. Gifuni takes to the stage under a dim, singular spotlight, unearthing a rather eccentric version of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. His mesmerising and sultry Italian ramblings start piecing together fractured family memories, his father’s death, his mother’s wedding to Claudius, his mind conversing with ghosts of the past, making his delivery create an intentional sense of psychotic mayhem: “My madness speaks”.
The performance closely observes the original Shakespearean tragedy of Hamlet, with well-known lines, “To be, or not to be: that is the question” and “Adieu, Adieu, remember me” woven into the text, while characters like Hamlet’s friend, Horatio, and the Gravedigger appear in his delirious exchanges with apparitions. Soundscape visionary artist G U P Alcaro accompanies Gifuni on stage, his sound desk expertise adding music and a cacophony of sounds that help bring the actor’s words to life.
Gilfuni is completely consumed with the characters. His whole body moving with his sense of madness, between make-believe Rosary bead kisses, upward gazes to ghosts of Hamlet’s past and peculiar clucking, chicken sounds, he moves his voice between different characters, from soft whispers to reverberating tremors that fill the auditorium.
Witty discourse plays against haunting angst and the beauty of the piece is the simplicity of this abridged adaptation of an otherwise lengthy tragedy. Gifuni and Alcaro make a brilliant pairing and the audience seem utterly transfixed before a well-deserved standing ovation.
Photos: Nick Bennett
Remember Me: Homage to Hamlet was at the Coronet Theatre on 7th June 2019 as part of the Italian Theatre Festival.