The Italian Almanac

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William Shakespeare

Italian News - May 10

Florence is paying tribute to English playwright William Shakespeare with a new exhibition at the city's Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale library. The show focuses on the Shakespeare play that has been most popular with Italian audiences over the centuries, Hamlet, as well as ground-breaking British set-designer and director Edward Gordon Craig. Craig (1872-1966) lived and worked in Florence during the second half of his life.

The exhibition, which opened recently, features historic material from the archives of the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, the British Institute of Florence and the Gabinetto Vieusseux Library. Among the highlights are editions of Hamlet in English, Italian, French and German published between the 18th and 20th centuries.

There is also material from the famous 1912 production of Hamlet at the Moscow Art Theatre, for which Craig collaborated with another great drama innovator, Russian director Konstantin Stanislavski (1863-1938).