HAMLET IS COMING TO CORNWALL
The Festival Players Theatre Company, which has been touring professional outdoor Shakespeare productions for 30 years, is staging an all-male version of Hamlet to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.
Thought to have been first performed in 1600 and possibly the greatest tragedy in the English language, Hamlet is a story of revenge as the Prince of Denmark learns that his uncle, Claudius, murdered his father and married Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude.
Festival Players Artistic Director Michael Dyer - the former director of Cornwall’s Minack Open Air Theatre - has brought the play, the bard’s longest, to an accessible version in under two hours. “Our shows are an amalgam of energy, entertainment and colour and we aim to make them clear and transparent, as well as keeping them short for the comfort of our patrons. We set out to take audiences of all ages on a journey and make them feel very much part of the production,” he says.
A small cast of six play multiple roles demanding quick costume changes, as well as performing as singers and musicians. “It is of course totally authentic - we are following in the footsteps of Shakespeare’s own Globe Theatre when all roles were taken by men,” adds Michael, directing his 12th all-male Shakespeare play for the company.
Music for the performance has been written by folk star Johnny Coppin, front man of the cult Seventies folk-rock group Decameron.
Hamlet by the Festival Players is performed at Penlee Park Theatre, Penzance (box office 01726 879500) on 10 August, at Gwennap Pit, Redruth (07880 934805) on 11 August, The Chaplaincy Gardens, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly(01720 422641) on 12 and 13 August, Tresco Abbey Gardens, Tresco on 14 August, Sterts Theatre, Liskeard (01579 362382) on 16 August.
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