The Xavier Stage (TXS), in its William Shakespeare Series which begun with A Midsummer Nights Dream, now presents a different take on Hamlet. Called “Recursos”. The play will run in the Xavier University Little Theater on June 23 to 30, 2014.
We all know Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a tragedy about the Prince of Denmark plotting revenge on his uncle Claudius. We know them by heart, as it is often the subject of literature lessons in high school and even in college. Hamlet presents to us a world of kingdoms, kings, queens and princes, which is admittedly distant from the Filipino culture.
The Xavier Stage, with the help of Palanca-winning playwright Layeta Bucoy, premiers a new approach on the classic tale: we are now taken into the world of Recursos, a mining corporation riddled with corporate greed. A young Eric, while in Manila, is visited by the ghost of his father, who accuses his brother, Enrique, for murdering him. Eric now returns to his province to plot revenge on his uncle, who is now married to his mother and has taken control over Recursos.
Bucoy has done the same treatment as the earlier Titus Andronicus, bringing classic tales closer to Filipinos by reshaping the story to reflect parts of the Philippine Society. In the case of Hamlet, she brings awareness to the rising problem of mining in the Philippines, as well as the violence, corruption and the environmental impact the industry involves. It stitches Filipino threads so well into the play that the audience instantly connects to the story.
While the play is brilliant on its own, the actors of TXS have each given killer performances which further solidified the entire play. Everyone has carried out the weight of their roles and made a smooth performance. The actors take us through the labyrinth of emotions, skillfully portraying them. There is not a trace of disconnection between characters. In fact, the artful delivery of lines has clearly painted the meaning of each part. TXS indeed has the best actors in its roof.
The stage and lighting design, as always, is superb. The stage resembles the eroded mountainsides of the mining province setting, while the lights playfully enhances the mood of the scene, bringing us emotionally closer to the gravity of the scene. The stage also makes use of three projectors, which show images and videos that aid the viewer in understanding the scene better.
TXS definitely gives justice to Bucoy’s interpretation of Hamlet. A play like no other deserves a performance like no other.
Hamlet (Recursos) runs from June 23 to 30, 2014, and ticket is priced at P75.00. Get your tickets at the XU Bookstore.