In the first weekend of June 2016 HamletScenen performed a wordless puppet theatre production of Shakespeare's immortal piece Romeo and Juliet at British Library in London with actor and puppeteer Olaf Højgaard as the botanist monk who uses his gardening tools to act out the tragic love story.
In the entrance hall of British Library in the middle of London is a stage on a platform. A tent has been pitched on the wooden floor. The tent, open wide in the middle, reveals a table and a collection of gardening tools which have been fashioned to look human-like - eyes, mouth and a nose have been added, and holes have been made in the floor to help them stay standing.
This is the world of a botanist monk (Olaf Højgaard) who acts out the story of Romeo and Juliet with his garden tools amidst the roars and hisses of the surroundings.
We talked to Jacques S. Matthiessen, director and one the original creators of the production, about working wordlessly with Shakespeare and how puppets can create imaginery worlds out of reach for conventional theatre.
Romeo and Juliet: A Puppet Show
Idea and concept
Jacques S. Matthiessen and Finn Rye Petersen
Jacques S. Matthiessen
Puppets and stage design
Rolf Søborg Hansen and Christian Q. Clausen