Sunday, August 28, 2011


We took a day trip while in Copenhagen to visit Kronborg Castle, otherwise known as Elsinore.  Here are some pics!

Some interesting facts:
The Great Hall of Elsinore is the largest one in Europe after the one in Versailles, but the two rooms couldn't be more different: Versailles is all mirrors and gold and bling, while Elsinore, as you saw, is pretty plain and empty and pristine.

Elsinore was a major gateway for ships, and all merchants had to pay a toll at Elsinore before moving onward, which raised a lot of revenue for the King of Denmark.

That big statue of the sleeping giant Dane is in the creepy basement of the castle.  His name is Ogier.  He's supposed to wake up when Denmark is in trouble to defend her, so it's a good thing he's still asleep, because i wouldn't want to be messing with him!

Hamlet is performed outside on the lawn in the summer (it wasn't being performed when we were there, but I saw that the Propellers were going to be there soon, to perform their Richard III & Comedy of Errors double bill which I had just seen here in Boston).

The first live production of Hamlet that I ever saw was at Emerson College, directed by Maureen Shea, who is a brilliant director (and former teacher of mine).  I auditioned for it, but didnt' get cast (though I like to think i was pretty close to getting Rosencrantz...maybe not...) so I ended up house managing the show, which was quite a job, as it was one of the first performances at the newly restored Majestic.  I used to go down to the basement and think "Wow!  This is where the Group  Theatre first read Clifford Odets "Waiting for Lefty" while they were performing "Men in White" upstairs, according to Harold Clurman in "The Fervent Years"!  I'm such a nerd!"  Anyway, I remember that the revolving Elsinore of Maureen's production looked like a spiral top that was spinning out of control, and I can see how much sense that makes now, as there were so many spiral staircases in the castle, and you did feel like you were spining while you were walking around.

The trio of dancing girls in the fountain of that last picture isn't on the castle grounds, but in the little village nearby.  The closest dancing girl is the same model for another of Denmark's famous landmarks: the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen.

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