Shakespeare for beginners: Romeo is a spade. Juliet is a broom

by Lotte Lund

Actor and puppeteer Finn Rye brings Romeo and Juliet to life in Kronborgs Castle this summer. Photo: HamletScenen

Actor and puppeteer Finn Rye brings Romeo and Juliet to life  in Kronborgs Castle this summer. The world class performance can be enjoyed by all children aged 6-100+. Photo: HamletScenen

Romeo is a spade. Julie is a broom. Quite literally.

The spade and the broom is the starting point for HamletScenen’s new interpretation of the most famous love triangle in the history of the world. The story is being told once again at Kronborg Castle in Elsinore, Denmar. This time as an unconventional, but deeply fascinating puppet theater for children aged 6 to 100 + years.

I thouroughly enjoyed the performance.. Even better was that my companions, Thea and Conrad, both 6 years, thought it was really really good!

They were both (for a rare once) sitting quietly for the 30 minutes as they watched the performance and actor Finn Rye and his puppets. So excited were they that they did not say one word.

Normally I write only about Hornbæk, but this production of Romeo and Juiliet is so beautiful that it also deserves to be part of the summer in our lovely city. Kronborg and Elsinore is just 12 kilometers awas – a beautiful bike ride along the Northern Sealand coast line.

Without words, actor, mime and puppeteer Finn Rye tells the dramatic story of the two young lovers’ affair through a variety of garden tools. No language barriers here if you are not from Denmark. The audience laugh, feel in love and is almost about to cry when the tragedy reaches its end and the last garden tool exhales.

High praise for Jacques S. Matthiessen, who have thrown himself into the mindless task of translating and staging one of Shakespeare’s most famous and wordy performances into a 30-minute wordless puppet performance. Also great credit to Rolf Soeborg Hansen, who has created the scenography and puppets.

Words are missing, but in turn the music plays an important role. And with the composer Fredrik Lundin’s magical universe of sound, one is never in doubt about where we are in the story.

The show is staged in HamletScenen or Shakespeare at Hamlets Castle’s  new annexe theater, located on Kronborg’s  Helsingborg Ravelinen. You find it by going through the castle’s courtyard. Helsingborg Ravelinen makes a stunning backdrop surrounded by Kronborg, the waves and seagulls in the background and green grass under your feet. Nowhere else in the world can children get a great theater experience like this.

Thea and Conrad wanted all their friends to come and see Romeo and Juliet. The recommendation is hereby passed on.p

You have to buy tickets for Romeo and Juliet. The playing period is June 29 through July 21 2013. The show plays every weekday. 13 – except Friday.

Tickets for today’s show sold from Kronborg Castle’s ticket office. You can also buy tickets in advance at

Read more about HamletScenen/ Shakespear at Hamlets Castle here