On Sunday 25 October, Shakespeare’s Globe performed their worldwide touring production of Hamlet at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. The show took place at the International Research & Development site in District 2 of the camp, with an audience of around 200 refugees.
Located close to the Jordan-Syria border, Zaatari was opened in 2012 by the Jordanian government and international agencies as part of a massive emergency response to the Syrian civil war. It is now home to over 80,000 people, making it the fourth largest ‘city’ in Jordan.
Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, said: “Amongst a host of treasurable moments, the visit to Zaatari was one of the highlights of our global Hamlet tour. Playing to a vibrant audience from the very young to the very old, the stage regularly besieged by infants who wanted to join in, the show interrupted by a Biblical sandstorm, and finishing to roars of appreciation at the death of Claudius, it was an experience we will never forget. Our thanks to UNESCO and UNHCR for organising it, and our gratitude and respect to all the residents of the camp whom we met.”
The performance was the result of a collaboration between Shakespeare’s Globe, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) and International Relief and Development (IRD).
The Globe to Globe Hamlet aims to play to every country in the world by 23 April 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The tour was granted UNESCO patronage for its engagement with local communities and its promotion of cultural education.