What kind of a world would a popular young Prince grow up in today?
A key force that drives our new interpretation of the play will be the influence of fame. The power that our royalty have, the power that Claudius kills for, is the power that comes from fame or celebrity status (think an amped up version of Will & Kate). We will flash newspaper articles, magazine covers, and twitter updates to give the audience additional information about the world the characters are living in and how they are viewed by the public. Hamlet has been in this place of fame since birth. Everything she does is scrutinized. When she puts on an “antic disposition”, or plays mad, she will be clearly playing this to the public.
Right out of the gate Hamlet brings into question the difference between what “is” and what “seems”. In our modern western culture, a culture obsessed with beauty and power, we are often encouraged to believe that what is seen on the surface is what matters most. Hamlet challenges this idea of superficial reality and digs to discover the truth.
An obvious change from the classic play is that our Hamlet will be… a woman. We believe this keeps integrity with the original message and plot of the play. It will inevitably charge the character relationships with a different kind of energy and context allowing the audience to experience the character, and the characters around her, in a fresh light.
In addition to changing Hamlet’s gender, we will also be gender swapping Laertes, Rosencrantz and Marcello (now Marcella).
We are fiercely committed as a company to expanding and exploring the voices of females in the arts and in our society. We feel that allowing the audience to view a woman navigating Hamlet’s famous struggle will not only be an enjoyable and exciting experience to witness, but will be ultimately be a positive and valuable exercise for all involved.