A tale of death and betrayal played out at the United Nations on Monday as Shakespeare's Globe Theatre performed "Hamlet" just down the hall from the U.N. Security Council as part of its bid to put on the play in every country in the world.
To mark Britain's August presidency of the Security Council, the Globe staged Hamlet in the U.N. Economic and Social Council - the 29th performance since embarking on its two-year adventure in April, said artistic director Dominic Dromgoole.
While the 15-member Security Council is trying to deal with a three-year civil war in Syria, renewed conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and ballistic missile tests by North Korea, the Globe Theatre is hopeful it can overcome any obstacles.
"We are determined to try to get into every country," Dromgoole told a news conference before the show. "We're obviously not going to put our company in harm's way at any point, but are going to do our damnedest to get in everywhere."
"The only country we ever have a persistent problem with is the French because they don't own Shakespeare," Dromgoole joked.
Shakespeare's well known tragedy "Hamlet" was first performed around 1600 and is a vivid portrayal of madness and the darkest elements of the human psyche. Globe Theatre is based on London's South Bank in a recreation of the Globe Theatre associated with Shakespeare.
"At the heart of the play is a dysfunctional family and we could look at parts of the world as a dysfunctional family where brothers and cousins are at each other's teeth," Globe actor Rawiri Paratene told reporters. "That's what's at the heart of this play, trying to work through those issues."
The Globe Theatre squad of 12 actors has just started the Americas leg of the tour after performing in northern Europe, the Balkans and the Baltics, Dromgoole said.