BS_Hamlet_editorialOff the back of directing the critically acclaimed, award winning Henry V for Bell Shakespeare in 2014, Damien Ryan will deliver a new production of one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, Hamlet.

Hamlet is one of the most complete experiences theatre can provide,” says Director, Damien Ryan. “Extraordinary poetry, intense passion, dazzling intelligence, terror, casual slaughter, friendship, humanity, great humour and great grief, Shakespeare casts his spell through the sheer scope and grandeur of this story – beginning with a dead man walking and ending with a stage littered with bodies.”

Hamlet is a detailed family portrait in the political landscape of a ‘rotten’ Denmark, a country furiously preparing for war, not realising that the enemy lies within. He is a young man cast in an unfamiliar role in a story he never expected to tell. Deeply saddened by the sudden death of his father, he is further shocked to find his mother quickly remarried to his uncle, the dead kings brother.

Haunted by his mother’s perceived crime, Hamlet is a mass of contradictions and a modern anti-hero. He is at once vulgar, misogynist and cruel while being overwhelmed by insecurities and indecision. He stands before us and speaks the truth, confronting us with just how fragile our ideals of family, love, community, loyalty, faithfulness and the courage to ‘act’ can be.

Josh McConville (Griffin Theatre Company’s The Boys and Sydney Theatre Company’s Mojo) and Matilda Ridgway (Sport For Jove’s A Doll’s House) will delve into the depths of the complexity, violence, philosophical reflection, madness and maddening seduction of Hamlet.

This production will offer a giant window to the inner machinations of Elsinore; a place where nothing and no one is ever safe from the prying, eavesdropping, awareness of others; an environment under insidious surveillance and secret tyranny.

Director: Damien Ryan  Featuring: Philip Dodd, Ivan Donato, Robin Goldsworthy, Josh McConville, Julia Ohannessian, Matilda Ridgway, Sean O’Shea, Catherine Terracini, Michael Wahr, Doris Younane  Designer: Alicia Clements  Lighting Designer: Matt Cox  Composer & Sound Designer: Steve Francis  Fight Director & Assistant Director: Nigel Poulton

Fairfax Studio – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 14 – 25 July 2015
Bookings: 1300 182 183 or online at: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au

Following the Melbourne season, Hamlet will tour nationally. For more information and performance dates, visit: www.bellshakespeare.com.au for details.

Image: Matilda Ridgway and Josh McConville in Bell Shakespeare’s Hamlet