Hamlet Huge Success

Nearly one thousand people, including over two hundred students from six Dumfries and Galloway schools, attended three riveting performances of Hamlet given by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre at The Crichton, Dumfries on Wednesday and Thursday last week.
“It was amazing,” said Chrys Salt, Artistic Director of The Bakehouse, the arts organisation responsible for bringing the Globe to Dumfries. “Despite the threatening weather, the crowds came with their picnics and raincoats and had a very special time.”
Only brief spells of rain affected the first and last performances while the matinée enjoyed sporadic sunshine, as the Globe actor Tom Lawrence, who played Horatio, announced before the performance:
“We played a wet and windy Portsmouth, a rainy London, a wet Oxford and Cambridge, a wetter Cumbria but in Dumfries we have sunshine!”
Hamlet, the fifth play in consecutive years from the globe to visit Dumfries, was by far the longest, lasting nearly three hours, but it held its audience spellbound as scene upon scene delivered some of the best loved and most famous lines in the English language.
Opinion was unanimous.  One person commented that nowhere in Britain on these days could one find better theatre; others simply said, “fantastic” or “brilliant.”
The interpretation was notable for its clarity, fast pace and purposeful direction. Michael Benz, who played Hamlet, is a star to watch but the whole cast demonstrated incredible breadth and depth of talent that extended to singing, dancing and playing musical instruments as well as superb acting.
Eric Green, Managing Director of one of the event’s sponsors, West10 Entertainment, based in Dumfries and London, commented, “It takes a lot of time, effort and money from many many people to make such an event as Hamlet happen in Dumfries but when you see the quality of the production and the pleasure that top flight theatre gives to so many local people, it is clearly worth it. West10 is proud to be a sponsor.”
John Hudson, a Director of The Bakehouse, said, “We have to thank so many people, not least the wonderful audience who support us year on year, as well as our financial sponsors and The Crichton Development Company and the Easterbrook Hall who offer such incredible support.
Last week’s success story came at the same time as previous sponsor of the Globe event, Weesleekit, a graphic design company based in Dumfries, has been short-listed for an Arts and Business Award and proposed for a motion of congratulation in the Scottish Parliament for its work with The Bakehouse in bringing the Globe to the region.
“The success of the Globe visits to Dumfries, for the people that enjoy the performances, the businesses that support us and the general cultural welfare of the region, offers encouragement to us all in these economically difficult times,” says Richard Macfarlane, Business Manager at The Bakehouse.