Gravedigger’s Tale


The Folger Theatre at Folger Shakespeare Library and Saratoga Shakespeare present two performances of Gravedigger’s Tale at Skidmore College’s Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater on Saturday, September 28th at 2pm and at 8pm.  Gravedigger’s Tale is created and directed by Robert Richmond and performed by Louis Butelli as the Gravedigger.

Gravedigger’s Tale is a forty minute interactive tour through one of literature’s most honored works, Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  The story of Hamlet is told by the Gravedigger using Shakespeare’s moving words with some original and traditional music, a good many laughs, and a bit of help from the audience.  Gravedigger’s Tale is appropriate for audiences of all ages.

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In Hamlet, the Gravedigger appears briefly in Act V to perform a comic exchange with a fellow gravedigger before speaking to Hamlet and presenting him with the jester Yorick’s skull. The Gravedigger appears to have some knowledge of court life at Elsinore – in  Gravedigger’s Tale one wonders how much more does the Gravedigger know? Our Gravedigger arrives with a trunk and a book and answers “questions” from the audience with pieces of text from Hamlet. At once comic and melancholy, Gravedigger’s Tale is a valentine to the Danish Prince, offering an alternate look at Shakespeare’s great work and bringing audience members directly into the action.


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