Past Productions: On the RSC stage - 1975
Dr Nick Walton from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust talks about the history of Hamlet in performance on the RSC stage.
Buzz Goodbody, who directed Hamlet in 1975, is the only woman to have directed the play for the Royal Shakespeare Company. She produced the play in the RSCís intimate studio theatre, The Other Place. The spaceís intimacy was an important part of the play's success. This was a piece of rough theatre with 13 actors performing 25 roles, making many of their entrances and exits through the audience.
Here you have the actors performing The Murder of Gonzago. This picture emphasises the rough quality of Buzz Goodbody's production. The production had a casual look, with actors in modern dress looking much as they would in rehearsal. The masks were an important motif for a play that is so concerned with identity, playing roles, disguising emotions, and disguising intentions.
Here is Ben Kingsley's Hamlet berating the young Ophelia, ripping up her letters and then throwing them into the audience who were sat only feet away from the performance space.
© RSC 2009 Commentary by Nick Walton from Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, 1975 photography by Joe Cocks, by permission of SBT
Sophistication over time
1901-1940 Beyond Shakespeare's words
1948 Gothic Hamlet
1958 60-year old Hamlet
1965 Sixties' Hamlet
1970 Singing Ophelia
1975 Claustrophobic Hamlet
1980 Visible ghost
1984 Boisterous Claudius
1989 Rebel without a cause
1992 Edwardian Hamlet
1997 Ophelia on pills
2001 CCTV Hamlet
2004 Bent double ghost
2008 Modern iconic Hamlet