‘To be or not to be’ has been the question over the past 14 months as Playbox Theatre put a planned production of Shakespeare’s iconic play on hold during the Pandemic.
At last, HAMLET opens at The Dream Factory, Warwick on 17th June 2021 in a thrilling in-the-round, close up and very personal staging.
HAMLET demands a new face to each decade and for Playbox, 18 year old Sophia Rowlatt assumes the mantle of the Prince of Denmark.
‘Much of our discussion in the rehearsal room has been about the themes, sense and resonance of Hamlet to a modern audience. In June 2021, I would like for people to empathise with this character who confides in the audience and is not ‘mad’ but incredibly vulnerable. However, his/her wit over the course of the play incredibly compelling and I hope the audience can find the character likeable and entertaining. Hamlet has and will continue to evolve as new actors take on the role. To capture the ‘zeitgeist’ I will play specifically male or female.’
Theatre critic Michael Billington says ‘Hamlet is one of those roles that transcends race, age or gender.’
Elsinore, in this production, is a contemporary European monarchy, the height of fashion, of media and the collapsing world of the young generation.
With a 12 strong company, the production is by Stewart McGill, with Technical direction by Richard Cooper, costume associate Ruby Riley and associate director Corin Alford.
Playbox Theatre last staged HAMLET in 2001 with Owen Young as the Prince. Owen subsequently studied at Mountview Theatre School, worked in theatre before returning to Playbox as a valued staff member. This new production plays at 90 minutes, a swift, thriller style account of the play which, if given full text can run at 6 hours! With its arena setting and chamber style the audience will feel very much, part of the action. Stewart McGill said
‘HAMLET is very much a play that speaks to our times. It explores a family in the process of self-destruction and the effect this has on those around them. Hamlet questions life and death, parents, love and friendship and encounters betrayal and heartbreak at such a young age. With the last year, in many ways, imprisoning us all at home, the metaphor, ‘Denmark’s a prison’ serves us well. Coming to Hamlet now in 2021 it seems almost as though Shakespeare has been revising it for a new generation.’
HAMLET will be supported by talks, post-show discussions and workshops at The Dream Factory, as the company bring back theatre both indoors and with the Phoenix Theatre, outdoors.
Opens Thursday 17th June 7pm
Friday 18th June 7pm
Saturday 19th June 3pm & 7pm