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Hamlet Globe to Globe

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  210 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Two years. 193,000 miles. 190 countries. One play. For the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth the Globe Theatre undertook an unparalleled journey, to take Hamlet to every country on the planet, to share this beloved play with the entire world. The tour was the brainchild of Dominic Dromgoole, artistic director of the Globe, and in Hamlet Globe to Globe, Dromgoole ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 26th 2017 by Grove Press
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Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

'Hamlet: Globe to Globe' by Dominic Dromgoole

4 stars/ 8 out of 10

I first read and also saw a live performance of 'Hamlet' when I was at school (more than 50 years ago). At that time I neither liked nor understood the play.

It was not until last year that I re-read the play, wanting to better understand the references to 'Hamlet' that occur in Ulysses. Shortly after this, I went to see a live streaming of the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2016 production of 'Hamlet'. Both of these occurrences were
Collin Mickle
May 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book should be good. It is not. The gap between Sentence No. 1 and Sentence No. 2 contains multitudes.

The biggest flaw is the premise, which is pure bait-and-switch. The book ought to be -- claims to be! -- the story of a theater troupe's journey around the world, sharing Shakespeare's greatest (. . . ?) play with people in every country on earth. It is in fact the story of how that trip seemed from the perspective of an executive who was in London the whole time, except for the occasional
Kathryn Bashaar
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I was so excited about reading this book that I formed an ad hoc book group with my daughter and two of our friends to read and discuss it together. It was a good book, but not what I expected.
The book is about the Globe Theater’s ambitious project to present Hamlet in every country in the world over a period of two years. They came really close, missing only 2 countries (North Korea and the second one escapes me). They even performed in refugee camps. Their goal was to bring the play not just
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This seems to be a year of fundamentally mis-marketed books. This is not a book about the Globe to Globe Hamlet tour that visited nearly every country in the world over the course of two years. It’s a book about Hamlet and Dominic Dromgoole’s relationship to Hamlet, which happens to include some stories about the Globe to Globe tour. Really, it should be called The Prince and I: Hamlet, the Globe, and the Play, or something like that.

If they actually wanted a book about the tour, it might have
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
If you're not a fan of Hamlet, you'll obviously want to pass on this book. The author himself didn't go on the whole tour so there isn't as much about the tour as I would like. It was really neat to learn about the different interpretations they did along the tour (such as a female Hamlet) but it felt like there was too much of the author and his feelings than the general tour. Overall, a good read if you're a fan of this play.
The Idle Woman
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
I’m going to end the year with a recommendation for your reading lists in 2017. Although it won’t be published until April, this book offers an optimistic note of hope to banish the darkness of what has, by any stretch of the imagination, been a bleak year. The context is this. Back in 2012, Shakespeare was at the heart of the cultural festival that accompanied the London Olympics. The main feature was the ambitious Globe to Globe festival, during which every one of Shakespeare’s plays was ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite non fiction books!
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
An intriguing look at "Hamlet" with fun anecdotes about staging the play in every country in the world. Impressive writing, but some of the author's analysis of the play got bogged down and repetitive--hence only 4 stars.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hamlet: Globe to Globe is a book about a huge project and one that those interested in Shakespearean theatre in the UK and beyond probably have heard about: Shakespeare’s Globe theatre took Hamlet on a tour to, as far as possible, every country in the world. In this book, Dominic Dromgoole describes their endeavours alongside thoughts on Hamlet and performing the play around the globe. Part memoir and part book about Hamlet and performance, Hamlet: Globe to Globe gives a sense of the excitement ...more
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I recommend this book as a life student, who has spent time at University, to all especially those studying Hamlet for an award. This book not only reveals the highs and lows of taking Shakespeare on a world tour but also a lot that may not be obvious about the play itself. This includes time spent on the main characters including why Hamlet should be played by a female and the monologue 'to be or not to be'.
I was given this book by Netgalley and this is my voluntary review.
El C
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it
An incredible journey! Traveling through three countries per week for two years performing a five Act Hamlet? How is that possible, even real? and then to have a published hardcover book in lieu of this journey is the eye of the apple. I remember a parable in which Atlas was a sucker for apples and it appears that his subsequent Dromgoole stepped away from holding up the Globe to write this book too; filled with apples. Which is to say that Dromgoole is like Atlas but he can be easily distracted ...more
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This epic road production of HAMLET had its genesis in 2012, the year of the London Olympics when Dromgoole, the Globe Theater director, said, "Let's take Hamlet to every country in the world." That incredible feat occurred over two years from 2014 to 2016. It was presented in English which would seem to be a problem for non-English speaking audiences, but the play is apparently so well known that it was not a major problem. Financing? No public funding, at least from the UK, Dromgoole stating ...more
Ian Brydon
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dominic Dromgoole was director of The Globe Theatre up until his retirement in 2016, which marked the four hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. In 2014, The Globe marked the four hundred and fiftieth anniversary of The Bard’s birth by staging all thirty-seven of his plays in in different languages, featuring theatre companies from around the world. This proved to be a runaway success, securing full houses and almost unanimous critical acclaim. To top this, Dromgoole and colleagues ...more
Greg Talbot
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What undiscovered country Shakespeare has gone to, we can only imagine, but 400 years after his death, his influence still finds its way across the globe. Specifically, the Globe sponsored tour to all countries of the world, an audacious feat, written from our animated director Dominic Dromgoogle. Two years, 190,0000 miles, 197 countries. It’s an adventure from the story of the players, the story of their encounters across cultures, and for reading between the lines, the adventure of us.

Peter Goodman
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing

“Hamlet Globe to Globe: two years, 190,000 miles, 197 countries, one play,” by Dominic Dromgoole (Grove, 2017). Dromgoole was the artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater from 2006 to 2016. He was involved in the reconstruction of the theater to its appearance during Shakespeare’s day. And then he led a Globe production of “Hamlet” that did everything the subtitle says: in two years, they played in almost every country in the world (they could not get into North Korea despite months of
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off - it's a great read.

That said, I expected something different. I thought there'd be more coverage of the tour, explaining how they set up their theatre, negotiated with the authorities, laid out the performance at different venues.

Dromgoole covers that, but it doesn't feature as much as I thought it would. Is that bad? Not necessarily. I still got out a lot from the book. Dromgoole makes the connection between parts of the play and the countries they visited (or at least some of the
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
A very disappointing book. And here’s why. Dominic Dromgoole, former director of the Globe Theater, had an idea to present Hamlet to every country on the planet. He and his staff did it and I thought this would be a fascinating book to read about that endeavor.

Instead, it’s a rambling dissertation about the play itself and in only very few instances does Dromgoole write about how audiences in some countries received the play and about some of the logistical challenges they had in putting on the
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is not a chronological narrative of the tour. Once you stop expecting that, you'll get on better. What it is, is a series of meditations on different intersections of the play with the history and society of the places that the company performed it. Dromgoole loves Hamlet and you probably will too by the time the book is over, if you didn't already. (He really doesn't like Richard II, however, which is too bad.) Unfortunately, it added an additional item to my next-life bucket list - ...more
Heather Berg
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Dromgoole's witty remarks on travel and culture, but wish there had been more about receptions of the play itself. There are moments where he touches on it, but pseudo-interviews and/or conversations mentioned in the book would've been nice.

He makes a lot of phenomenal insights about Hamlet and its history, which was a huge point this book tried to draw attention to. I loved the point he made about one of the actors that played Hamlet in New York City, and how that actor played Hamlet
May 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I saw this book in our local library in the travel writing section. I really enjoy quirky travelogues so having read the synopsis and the quotes decided to read it.
It is more a love note to Hamlet than a travelogue. Over half the book is the author giving this opinion on what Hamlet and sections of the play are about. Under 50% is about travel and the performances of the play. Yet that is the best part of the book. The section on the performance in the refugee camp is deeply moving.
As a result
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was an amazing, crazy feat to perform “Hamlet” in every country around the world. Dromgoole didn’t actually do the touring; he was the artistic director of the Globe and flew out occasionally during the two years to meet up with the troupe and catch a performance and give the actors and techs a morale boost or just a lifeline. Each chapter looked at a particular country and the aspect of “Hamlet” it caused him to reflect on, such as visiting a country where women have few freedoms and then ...more
Carol Douglas
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you are fascinated by Shakespeare and the theater, you probably will enjoy this book. I did.
Dromgoole is the artistic director of the Globe Theatre in London. He tells about the Globe's exciting project to produce Hamlet in every country in the world. The company actually managed to bring the play to 190 countries over the space of two years!
Dromgoole was able to go to only some of the countries, but those are far-flung. He tries to convey what it was like to bring Hamlet (in English) to
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I would give this book 3 1/2 stars if Goodreads allowed (!). I think part of the reason it didn't hit four stars for me was that it wasn't quite what I expected, though it did a pretty darn good job being what it is. The book is about the remarkable feat of the Globe Theatre taking Hamlet to every country in the world (or at least the people of every country) over two years. I was expecting more of a travelogue style and while there was some of that, the author (who was the Globe's leader at the ...more
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
There were moments when I absolutely adored this book- the intro was lovely, there were some sublime moments within, there were some excellent insights on the play itself- and there were times when I wanted to smack the author, because he let his ego get in the way, sometimes in truly obnoxious ways.

I really wish one of the actors had written the book instead, because the author (the artistic director) did not go to every show, and in fact missed huge chunks of the tour, thus losing some of his
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs, shakespeare
I am shamelessly entranced by the performance of Shakespeare, and this book took me behind the scenes of the modern-day Globe's ambitious project to perform "Hamlet" in every country in the world. The best thing about this book, for me, is exploring Dromgoole's thoughts on the play and its performance. He's quite insightful and has decades of experience in the theater, so I feel like I understand "Hamlet" so much better now. I do hope one of the players or stage managers who made the whole tour ...more
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book for theatre nerds and Shakespeare lovers (and I happen to be both!). In 2015, the Globe Theatre sent a small troupe of actors and stage managers out with a production of 'Hamlet' with the goal of playing in every country in the world. They played in 143 countries over a two-year span. This book tells that story, but also connects themes and ideas from Hamlet to what's happening around the world. It's part literary analysis, part travel yarn, and part theatre lore - so, you know, ...more
Diverting enough I suppose, but Dromgoole is absolutely the least interesting person to write this. What about, I don't know, literally anyone who was actually on the tour? As it stands, it has far too much Globe and not enough globe. What we do have is plenty of Dromgoole's analysis and explication of why so many scenes in Hamlet are great, which, yes, I don't disagree but it's also nothing new. We also get his ruminations on geopolitics, which range from the banal to the naive, and usually ...more
Anne Harmon
Eh. I expected this to be a theatre company's story of their performances of Hamlet around the world and the stories that spring from this. Instead, it is written by a man who masterminded the whole thing but was not present at most of the performances (only 20 out of 200). He talks a lot about his interpretation of the play, which is fine, but he also rambles on and on about different political climates and how he thinks Hamlet speaks to them without focusing on the main thing - how the ...more
Stacey Falls
i don't know. i couldn't finish it. i appreciated some of the tales of travel and some of the insight. maybe if i were really familiar with hamlet, i would have liked this book better. i read and liked hamlet, but this felt like serious literary criticism that i didn't have enough expertise in hamlet to appreciate it. also, the author comes off as kind of snobbish. like he has some serious opinions about the way theater should be done, and his commentary seems really "insider-y" in this way that ...more
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book itself, the writing, the story, and the whole crazy idea of the tour are excellent. I felt like I was poked every now and then by the author's apparent distaste for Americans, conservatives, and Christians, and I also had a hard time being told that President Obama's short visit to the Globe at the tour's conclusion was the best part of the entire tour. (Really???) That said, I enjoyed the anecdotes, the descriptions were vivid, and as a college English lecturer I am enthusiastic about ...more
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