By: Charlotte McParland
BELLEVILLE- The world has just found a new way to celebrate the anniversary of the most famous playwright of all time.
William Shakespeare has just marked the anniversary of his 450th birthday, and to celebrate this momentous occasion, the famous Shakespearean Globe Theatre in London, England has embarked on a two-year world tour that will bring the Globe to Globe Hamlet to every country in the world.
This tour will make its only Canadian stop in Eastern Ontario in the small town of Prescott, Ontario, just 90 minutes east of Belleville.
With its picturesque, outdoor amphitheater on the waterfront, and a small population of under 5,000, Prescott was chosen out of every city in Canada to host this one day event. It will be the only performance in Canada on a tour that began in April of this year.
“I think they’re interested in finding unique venues on the way, that they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else, so we lucked out because of that,” said Ian Farthing, artistic director of The St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival which is home to the waterfront amphitheater in Prescott.
The show will travel from Chicago to Prescott for the date on Aug. 2, where the troupe of 12 will perform a matinee at 1 p.m. and an evening performance at 7 p.m. of Hamlet. Then, the tour will travel to Nassau, Bahamas, to continue the world tour.
The Globe to Globe tour did not easily land in Prescott, but it sure has made an impact. General manager Ingrid Bjornson, of the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival said there is already a long waiting list for tickets.
“Five-hundred and fifty tickets have been sold for the event which sold out in less than 50 minutes! We currently have a waiting list at the time,” she said.
She then continued stating that Prescott was up against renowned arts cities to win the desired venue of this event, beating out Stratford and Harbourfront in Toronto.
The world tour is a huge challenge, but possible.
Peter Brook, director of Globe to Globe said: “the six simplest words in the English language are, “to be or not to be.” There is hardly a corner of the planet where these words have not been translated. Even in English, those who can’t speak the language will at once recognize the sound and exclaim, ‘Shakespeare!’ Hamlet is the most all encompassing of Shakespeare’s plays.”
These words will undoubtedly make a great impact at Prescott’s waterfront this August.
“It can bring a rich journey of discovery to new audiences everywhere,” said Brook.
Visitor Information Coordinator Rosi Ouelette, said there is more information available locally at the Belleville Chamber of Commerce downtown.