Biting Shakespeare

29 Apr

Jakub Snochowski

There are various embodiments of Hamlet. Some of them ‘live’ inside theatres, some – outside. Jakub and Krzysztof Opaliński, a photographer, are working on a photo project called “Hamlet”. That’s the only Hamlet that Jakub’s been so far. He never played the role in the theatre. But he did play in many other plays by Shakespeare. When he was auditioning for drama school, he performed Puck. But since he’s presented many Shakespearean characters, I couldn’t help but wonder if there is any favourite one. When I asked him about that, he did not hesitate at all, and said, “Mercutio”. The Queen Mab monologue, wchich is one of the most important parts said by Mercutio, also happens to be one of the most difficult monologues. That doesn’t matter for Jakub, he knows the text both in Polish, and in English. And he knows it by heart. He was telling me about this role and it was just obvious that Mercutio really is his role. When we were talking about combining Shakespeare’s texts with things typical of the modern world, he said he likes to stick to the original text. Making it sound modern usually turns out to be a pretty bad idea. Shakespeare’s plays are difficult, they pose some kind of a challenge to the actors. When people decide to change the text, it’s just giving up. That means they simply can’t manage it. “You need to bite Shakespeare inside your head”, said Jakub. He’s absolutely right. Shakespeare requires a lot of time, work, involvement; hours spent on ‘biting’ his works. And then the role can become a success. I have to admit that Jakub impressed me with all his knowledge and commitment. And even though I was so impressed, our conversation felt so casual. We were just talking and at some point (and I don’t really know when that happened) I forgot that I was ‘interviewing’ him. So I was enjoying listening to his stories. He’s a young actor, and yet he’s quite experienced. And when he’s talking, there’s no need to ask questions, the story just goes.

I guess it’ll take some time for me to stop being so excited about Shakespeare’s birthday. All the people that I met then are just amazing and really inspiring. At first I was a little worried that the actors might not want to talk to me. All in all, I’m just a blogger. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I was trying to make an interview for the first time in my life. But they really didn’t care about all that, which really made me feel a little bit better. All of them were so open, kind and modest. The actors that I met in Gdansk are just extraordinary. While listening to them, I was thinking: they’re kind of magical. But it was no magic that made them successful, it was their hard work and commitment that made them who they are. They’re just regular people, but, at the same time, they can be very special. Even though I’ve been talking about them for quite a long time now, I don’t think I’ll ever manage to tell anyone how much I was impressed. I hope I’ll get a chance to meet them again!

I would like to thank all of you (once again) and wish you all the best! I hope you only get offers as good as Hamlet 😉

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One Response to “Biting Shakespeare”

  1. Rosalind Ackroyd May 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    I am constantly looking online for articles that can benefit me. Thanks!

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