Thursday, May 13, 2021

Book Note: Maurice Evans' G. I. Production of Hamlet

Evans, Maurice. Maurice Evans' G. I. Production of Hamlet by William Shakespeare: Acting Edition. Pref. Maurice Evans. Illus. Frederick Stover. Garden City: Doubleday & Company, 1947.

A discussion of the Macbeth that Salvador Dali illustrated (for which, q.v.) reminded me of another slightly rare Shakespeare book that I happen to have.

Essentially, this book is a performance edition of Hamlet based on a wartime production (in Hawaii, in 1944) and a subsequent performance on Broadway. Maurice Evans' introduction recounts the decisions he and the production cast made in putting the play on for members of the military. It includes revelations about costuming, editing, and conceptualizing the play for that particular audience.

For a sample, I'm providing the title page (with facing portrait of Maurice Evans), a sample of the detailed stage directions from the opening lines of the play, and an image that will give you a sense of the costumes.

Click below to purchase the book from
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).


Cory Howell said...

That looks so interesting, I just HAD to order myself a copy on Amazon!
Surprisingly, it wasn't at all expensive...about twenty bucks.

kj said...

Thanks, Cory—yes, it's interesting, and there are a surprising number of fairly-inexpensive copies available.

Enjoy it!


Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

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