A five-year British Council funded partnership programme between London’s Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance and the Uzbekistan State Institute of Art and Culture, has culminated in the first ever UK performance of Hamlet in the Uzbekistan language.
The project was a result of Uzbekistan State Institute of Art and Culture’s (USIAC) development of an art management curriculum along with new decrees in higher education in Uzbekistan encouraging international partnerships with higher education institutions.
Through the British Council, USIAC students received specialist training by Rose Bruford College tutors in voice, movement, arts management and Shakespeare text in preparation for a production of Hamlet under the guidance of internationally renowned director, John Tucker.
Following performances earlier in the year in Tashkent, the cast visited London for two public performances of Hamlet on Tuesday 16 April. The first performance was at Rose Bruford College’s Sidcup campus, as part of its annual Symposium, with a further showing in the evening at the Uzbekistan Embassy in Holland Park, London.
The project further enhances Rose Bruford College’s reputation as London’s International Drama School. In addition to long-established partnerships for undergraduate students in Europe and the USA, the College has recently developed a growing portfolio of Masters degree programmes, which provide students with the opportunity to train in the USA, Germany and Russia.
Rose Bruford College Head of School of Performance, Niamh Dowling said:
“It’s been a privilege to have been involved in this project which has resulted in a beautiful and elegant production of Hamlet. We are currently in discussions with our partners to plan the next exciting stage of the project.”
Venera Yusupova from USIAC, who travelled with the cast, was delighted with the reception received from Rose Bruford College students and especially the audience response to the performances. She commented:
“We enjoyed our time on the beautiful campus and it was lovely to see Rose Bruford College students and staff support the event. A number of them commented upon how much they enjoyed it.”
The performance also received glowing reviews by members of the public. Durbek Hakimov commented on social media:
“Hamlet was a fantastic production; my children watched it and they loved it. Being Uzbek speakers themselves, it was an amazing experience for them!”
During their visit, the cast also took the opportunity to explore the sights of London including The Globe Theatre.
Venera Yusupova added that some of the cast are already planning their return:
“Many of the cast are keen to study English with a view to returning to complete a Rose Bruford College Masters course.”
The project also benefitted students from Rose Bruford College’s School of Design, Management and Technical Arts with final year BA (Hons) Lighting Design student Perttu Lahdesmaki lighting the productions both in Uzbekistan and London.
Photographs by Jack Williams and the British Council.