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'Hamlet' in Cuba on global Shakespeare birthday tour

HAVANA -- A tour of “Hamlet” aiming to reach every country on Earth in celebration of William Shakespeare's 450th birthday brought the legendary bard to thousands gathered in Havana, local media reported Friday.

“Twelve actors from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre recreated Hamlet ... with an air of innovation and in its original language,” artistic director Dominic Dromgoole was quoted as saying by state-run newspaper Granma.

“Although we know that the story transcends beyond words, a giant screen with Spanish was part of the set.”

Around 3,000 spectators gathered for two performances put on at the Cuban capital's Mella Theater Thursday, paying 10 pesos (40 cents) per ticket.

The string of shows, which began at The Globe, concludes in April 2016 at Elsinore Castle in Denmark — where the tale of deferred revenge is set. The performance will coincide with the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death.

The 12-person cast next travels to southeastern Mexico for a performance in front of the Merida Cathedral in Yucatan State. Before Cuba, the show was performed in Canada, at United Nations headquarters in New York and in the Bahamas.

The Globe Theatre was built in 1599, destroyed by fire in 1613 and rebuilt the next year, only to be demolished four decades later.

It reopened in 1997 close to the original site and true to its historical design.

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