William Shakespeare's Hamlet

Adapted and directed by Kelly Wilson

October 9-12, 2019 at the Earl Arts Centre, Launceston

Cast:

Hamlet, Gertrude’s son, sole heir to family empire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aaron Beck

Ophelia, Polonius' daughter and Hamlet’s girlfriend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Laura Eastley 

Claudius, Hamlet's uncle, Hamlet Sr.’s youngest brother . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christopher Bryg

Gertrude, married to Claudius, widow of Hamlet Sr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kerri Gay

Polonius, corporate lawyer for Hamlet family business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Darren Royston 

Laertes, Polonius' son and Ophelia's brother . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Robbie Bleakley

Hamlet Senior, Hamlet’s deceased father . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Christopher Bryg

Guest, Player and Funeral Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Natalie Gaffney

Understudy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nathaniel Wood

Artistic/Technical Roles: 

Original Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fiontan Cassidy 

                                                                                                                                                           Karlin Love

Stage Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Daniel Story

Fight Choreography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robbie Bleakley

Piano Accompaniment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ben Austin

Set Design and Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kelly Wilson

Set Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sean Wilson

Lighting Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Smith

Lighting/Sound Operator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sean Wilson

Production Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eliza White

Promotional Filming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Josh Langley

                                                                                                                                                     Nicholas Pesch

Poster Design and Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Tassou Amerikanos

Publicity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kelly Wilson

Directorial Interpretation:

Although this contemporary adaptation of Hamlet retains William Shakespeare’s original text, the script has been edited heavily in order to create a more intimate examination of the main conflict caused by the murder of Hamlet’s father, which impacts the families of both Hamlet and Polonius. With this focus in mind, many characters have been cut entirely from the script or combined with the characters that still remain, resulting in a production with six main characters and one supporting ensemble actor, estimated to run for about two and a half hours, including an intermission.

 

Two aspects of this particular adaptation of Hamlet make it unique to other productions. First, Ophelia’s character has been greatly expanded and placed firmly in the 21st century through the incorporation of lines from Horatio, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and even Hamlet. Ophelia’s ability to love deeply and faithfully make her an honourable character, yet her actions often fall flat if the play is set in the modern era. Some women have difficulty understanding and relating to Ophelia because she is a product of the late 16th century society in which she was created. Ophelia serves as a reminder of the plight of women during the Renaissance, lest we forget the courage of the women and men who fought for the rights that women have today. However, there is something to be gained from placing Ophelia in a contemporary social context, on equal ground with her boyfriend, Hamlet. Through this adaptation, Wilson attempts to create an interpretation of Ophelia which retains the original source of her core strength, her profound loyalty to those she loves, and portray it in a manner that reveals the tragedy that can result from these strengths in the modern era.

 

This production also examines society’s growing obsession with revenge. The tragedy of Hamlet is produced not by a desire for justice, but a pursuit of vengeance, spurred on by Hamlet’s own father from beyond the grave, a deadly inheritance passed down from one generation to the next. The parallels between the dramatic action of this play and the rise of terrorism and murder rates in the world today will provoke reflection and present a possible antidote to our fixation on revenge, which is not only destructive to the individual, but to society as well.

Photography: Tassou Amerikanos
Photography: Paul Scrambler
Music Composers
Fiontan Cassidy
Karlin Love

Fiontan Cassidy has been singing and playing the guitar for many years and he is at the beginning of a very promising career as a singer/songwriter. He was the winner of the Raw3! Young Talent onstage busking competition in 2018. With an ever-growing set of folk ballads and acoustic-pop tunes, Fiontan has been quietly popping up at gigs around Launceston for a few years. His unique brand of stripped back, candid song writing has seen him opening for local familiars such as FLXW, New Wave Saints, and Pat Broxton. A young man of multiple interests and talents, Fiontan was awarded  a $1000 cash prize from Screen Tasmania for Best Screenplay Award in 2016, along with his filmmaking team of Jordan Peters and Harry Dempsey. 

Karlin Love is a composer and performer based in Tasmania. In 1989 Karlin moved from the USA to Australia to take the woodwind lecturer position at the University of Tasmania in Launceston where she taught clarinet, saxophone, theory, composition and improvisation until 1997, and composition and music technology for the University’s Faculty of Education and TAFE Tasmania until 2010. She is now a free-lance composer, performer, and teacher, and continues to work with senior secondary students. Most of Karlin’s composition is for acoustic instruments such as lute, guitar, clarinet, or symphonic winds. Frequently writing for local amateur performers, her works extend and expand traditional sound worlds. She has worked extensively with the instruments of leather sculptor, the late Garry Greenwood, developing their performance potential with The Chordwainers quartet and the Tasmanian Leather Orchestra of eager local musicians. Her works have been performed in Europe, the UK, USA, New Zealand, and China, and recorded by Australian professional and amateur ensembles. Karlin is a fully represented composer with the Australian Music Centre. She was a recipient of a Dombrovskis Wilderness Residency in 1998, a Cataract Gorge residency in 2002, AIR (Arts Tasmania) Schools residency in 2016 and was the Australian Society for Music Education composer-in-residence in 2009.

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