Rony Lolano is a Kurdish-British Musician, film-maker and novelist – I feel honoured that he discovered an incomplete copy of the feature-documentary about my theatre-production in London’s West-End (over 3 decades ago) of Shakespeare’s “Fat” Hamlet, by the most prominent Israeli film-maker Oded Be’eri, whose feature film is entirely original, both in conception and cinematic realization. I am also grateful to Rony for his introductory essay below – Professor Hovhanness I. Pilikian.
Oded Be’eri is Israel’s great intellectual – film and theatre-director, author, novelist.
Excerpts from this major documentary found recently in theatre-archives about his friend and colleague, (Professor) Hovhanness Israel Pilikian’s Fat Hamlet is Be’eri’s masterpiece – a new genre of feature-documentary – sui generis; impossible to categorize yet in film-history.
It re-constructs conceptually, virtually and visually a famous production (directed by Hovhanness I. Pilikian) a decade after its original premiere in London’s West End theatre-land over 2 decades ago (Produced by Emmanuel Gounalakis Management), it places on global circulation the most innovative and definitive presentation of the world’s most famous play, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, proving Professor Pilikian’s scholarly contention that Shakespeare himself intended his character of Hamlet to be hugely fat.
The first performer of the role, the most famous Elizabethan actor, Richard Burbage, was physically overweight. And being Fat, because of Henry VIII’s bulk, was the Elizabethan high fashion, not the anorexic slim-look, which is entirely modern and out of Shakespeare’s mind.
Shakespeare loved fat men; Falstaff (also first enacted by Burbage) impersonates his reasons why – they are jolly, loyal, and sensual/sexual, with presumed larger genitals, contrasted with Shakespeare’s immense dislike of ‘thin’ men as exemplified by Julius Caesar’s comment on “Yonder Cassius”, and Sir Andrew Aguecheek (for example, in the Twelfth Night) – the name is a pun on ‘diseased/infected buttocks’, in which form unfortunately Hamlet is still frequently performed throughout Britain (including Lawrence Olivier’s camp Hamlet, in the film directed by him).
Hopefully, the upload of Oded Be’eri’s masterpiece (even in bits) onto the Internet shall finally put ‘thin Hamlets’ to bed, and open up new unpredictably radical and revolutionary paths and avenues in Shakespeare Studies all over the world, transforming and transmuting the world’s most famous play into pure intellectual Pilikian-gold.
Be’eri’s feature also boasts the exclusive and only tele-visual appearance of two great intellectuals of the British theatre, Irving Wardle, the number one theatre-critic for many decades of the London Times, and the late Hugh Cruttwell, the most prominent Principal of the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Art (abbreviated as the world-famous RADA), married to the late Geraldine McEwan, a superstar of the British theatre.
It remains to add the epoch-making performances by Steve Varnom as Hamlet, and Janet Crawford as Gertrude.
Professor Hovhanness I. Pilikian’s work (in many fields of knowledge) is frequently “prophetic”, as illustrated here, predicting 30 years ago the total socio-political corruption of today’s societies shaken by the British MP’s expenses scandal robbing their citizenry, Banks stealing their savers’ accounts through 0% interest rates, Libor manipulation etc., paedophile child-rape and murder by prominent public figures etc. etc.
Rony Lolano, Film-maker, Musician, Author, Novelist
Bogaz’da Kaybolmak – the first novel (in Turkish, 2012) of a planned trilogy
Many other Links on the Internet;
Collected Works of Professor H. I. Pilikian
A Severe Warning to Mankind
Professor Hovhanness Israel Pilikian (C.V)