by William Shakespeare
Image: copyright Ipanki at 123rf.com
Thu 26 July - Sat 4 August 2018 at 7.30pm (no performance Sun 29 July)
Performed in the open air in the courtyard of Abington Park Museum, Park Avenue South, Northampton NN1 5LW
Masque Theatre members £9.00
Child (up to and including 16-years-old) £6.00
Family (two adults + two children up to and including 16-years-old) £28.00
Online booking not available.
Because this is an open air production and may be affected by inclement weather, tickets are only available 'on the door' on the evening of each performance.
The Box Office opens at 7.00pm. Cash or cheques only, please.
Other than ‘To be or not to be’ Shakespeare’s Hamlet is stuffed full of quotations still in modern use, and on the whole, coined by William Shakespeare himself (or one of his co-writers).
Perhaps the most misquoted in am-dram circles is ‘the play’s the thing’ which is certainly to do with the importance of the play but in its original context ‘to catch the conscience of the king’ is, in other words, Hamlet’s motif for a re-enactment by the players of the murder of a king by by his ambitious brother.
In this case, Hamlet’s dad (also called Hamlet and played in sonorous tones by Victor Guse) and his Uncle Claudius (John Myhill) who has placed himself on the throne instead of Hamlet.
The enacted play is called The Mousetrap. Does that ring a bell for any Agatha Christie fans?
A first for Masque
Some of you know that the title role of Hamlet has more individual lines than any other Shakespearian character and is one of WS’s longest plays: four hours if played as full text. I’ve tried to cut it down to two hours given that it'll be performed in the open-air, etc. But Hamlet is also a first for Masque as the group has never performed it!
Despite my previous incarnation as a drama teacher (I taught the play for eight years - probably seven and half longer than it took WS to write it) it took four attempts to reduce the script to two hours' duration, which I think I’ve achieved, give or take a bit.
It is a difficult process when you’ve had over 30 actors audition for parts, most of whom have been cast, and also a disinclination to cut well-known lines.
However, since the audition and a few shape shifts of cast, I’m very pleased to tell you that Hamlet is to be played by Tom Morath (Masque Youth Theatre leader and last seen for Masque Theatre in Nicholas Nickleby) and Amy Whitestone (MYT leader too) as Ophelia.
John Myhill is King Claudius, Jan Stoppani Queen Gertrude - Hamlet’s mum, with Barry Dougall as the busy-body courtier Polonious.
New to Masque is James Lickman as Leartes, and fresh from last year's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Women in Mind is Ciaran Redmond as Horatio.
Mark Mortimer is the ‘grave-digger’ of ‘Alas poor Yorick' fame.
The large cast in period costume is further complimented by Bev Webster and Mairead Kearins as Rozencrantz and Guildenstern, April Pardoe as Oscric, with Roger Toone, Ian Bradley, Kevin Pinks, Sion Grace, Owen Warr, Sheila Jenkins and Ingrid Heymann. And new to Masque Aaron Mackenzie as Marcelous, and Kevin Evans as Lucianus.
Costumes and stage management is by the erstwhile Clare Brittian, and Lighting Design by Megan Lucas.
So don’t make Hamlet a 2C or not 2C, it is a MUST. Oh, and wrap-up warm!
Masque Theatre's production is directed by Masque member Rob Kendall, whose shows for the group include The Bacchae (2018), Henry V (2016), The Importance of Being Earnest (2016), The Lion in Winter (2015), Becket (2014), Troilus and Cressida (2014), Margot (2013), Nicholas Nickleby (2012), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (2012), Romeo and Juliet (2011) and (2001), Great Expectations (2010) The Cherry Orchard (2010), A Midsummer Night's Dream (2009), Trainspotting (2008), Mother Courage And Her Children (2007), Twelfth Night (2005), Bent (2004), Hell Cab (2004), Murder in the Cathedral (2002), A View From The Bridge (2002), Entertaining Mr Sloane (2000), East (1998), A Streetcar Named Desire (1997) and Antony and Cleopatra (1996)