The Wooster Group rework Richard Burton's Hamlet at 2013 Edinburgh Festival

  • Edinburgh Festival Guide
  • 15 July 2013

This article is from 2013

The Wooster Group rework Richard Burton's Hamlet at 2013 Edinburgh Festival

Video screenings of New York’s theatre crew's shows including Rumstick Road and To You, The Birdie!

New York’s experimental theatre crew The Wooster Group embark on yet another challenging proposition, as they rework Hamlet for the 21st century. Nothing new in that, you might think, except they’re using footage of the legendary 1964 Broadway production starring Richard Burton to create a very different film/theatre experience. An added delight is that some choice works from Wooster’s stirring back catalogue are being shown on video at noon on each performance day, ranging from 1977’s Rumstick Road to 2002’s To You, The Birdie!

Lyceum Theatre, Grindlay Street, 0131 473 2000, 10–13 Aug, 7.30pm, £10–£30.


In 1964 Richard Burton performed on Broadway in John Gielgud’s acclaimed production of Hamlet. Recorded in live performance from 17 camera angles, the resulting film was shown for only two days in 2,000 cinemas across the United States. The idea of bringing a live theatre experience to thousands of viewers in different…

Rumstick Road

A video reconstruction of the landmark 1977 production Rumstick Road which combined audio taped conversations, family letters, dance, 35mm slides and the writing of Mary Baker Eddy to construct a response to the suicide of Spalding Gray’s mother. 'A brilliant and engrossing work; one whose abstraction and complexity are…


A video of a complete performance of the 1999 OBIE-winning collision of Gertrude Stein’s Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights with Joseph Mawra’s B-movie classic, Olga’s House of Shame. ‘Bedazzling … there’s nothing else like it around; it turns disorientation into a primary sensual pleasure, even as it raises terrifying…

To You, The Birdie! (Phèdre)

A video of the 2002 OBIE winning production of Racine’s Phèdre, set in a mobile modernist landscape of sliding Plexiglass panels, omnipresent monitors, hidden cameras, and badminton … ‘This blend of ironic seriousness, heightened theatricality and multimedia ballet has developed into one of the sharpest of theatrical…

The Emperor Jones; Today, I Must Sincerely Congratulate You; Rhyme ’Em to Death

Three pieces on video: The Emperor Jones is a video interpretation of The Wooster Group’s original stage production of Eugene O’Neill’s play; Today, I Must Sincerely Congratulate You is the Group’s 1991 metadocumentary of daily life in a fading performance troupe; and Rhyme ’Em to Death is a short black-and-white film…