Mark and Tracy Pellegrino’s production of Hamlet

Mark Pellegrino Advent Calendar Day 9

Video Transcript

One or two things in TV and film. A lot of theatre stuff. Mostly Hamlet. My wife and I did this thing Hamlet together. It took almost two years to produce, and a lot of rehearsing and a lot of insanity, but I helped her produce it and I helped to conceive of the sets and with her we saw almost every filmed production of Hamlet there was. And we went to the Royal Shakespeare Company to see a version of it. She studied The Masks of Hamlet, which is this tome of a book that analyses pretty much every production of Hamlet ever made. So a lot of conceptual work and thought went into it, and we edited the play according to Campbell Scott’s version of Hamlet which we both watched. That was quite a bit of work, and I thought it came together rather nicely. I thought it was one of the best Hamlets that has ever been done. Unfortunately we didn’t film it. But some people. I mean we had a fifty-seat theatre that had a hundred people in it every time we ran the show, which was Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. And people came away from it blown out of the water. And I think the biggest compliment is not just people from RADA or people who’d seen great performances who were blown away, but people who didn’t know Shakespeare and were afraid of Shakespeare because they couldn’t understand the language, who came away completely clear about what was going on and really, really enamoured. So that’s the biggest compliment, that you made someone who didn’t understand Shakespeare understand Shakespeare.

Coming up on Day 10

Mark talks about Universal Declaration of Human Rights.