Hamlet returns for 400 years of Shakespeare

Artes Christi Australia presents The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
In rehearsal are Criostoir McCaughan and Andrew Cougle. Images: Giovanni Portelli Photography.

By Jordan Grantham

Artes Christi Australia presents The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

As with previous Artes Christi productions, a sold-out run is expected for the four performances from 14-15 October 2016 at the Seymour Centre in Sydney.

From left: Catherine Pearce, Meg Griffin, Assistant Director, and Eugene Raggio, Director.

From left: Catherine Pearce, Meg Griffin, Assistant Director, and Eugene Raggio, Director.

The production features cast and crew with strong connections to the Diocese of Parramatta, including Jeremy Bell (Hamlet), Meg Griffin (Assistant Director), Paul Kennedy (King Claudius) and Rob Griffin (Set Construction).

Artes Christi’s mission is ‘to seek the Face of Christ through the arts’.

Director Eugene Raggio, who has worked as a principal artist for Opera Australia, described his vision for the play. “We’re trying to move it into less of a strictly domestic drama,” Eugene said.

The character of Fortinbras will be included, a character commonly cut from productions. As ruler of Norway, Fortinbras represents an external threat to Denmark.

This production is set post-WWI, drawing on a beautiful aesthetic and the cultural trends of the time, as well as the sense of external pressures.

This interpretation of the text veers away from common Freudian interpretations.

“It has always been perceived as a strongly political and religious drama,” especially in Eastern Europe and Asia, Eugene said.

The stakes are high in any presentation of Hamlet. “Hamlet is almost a sacred text of Shakespeare.”

“The lines are very quotable. Audiences are wanting to be surprised, wanting to see what these actors bring that’s new. We have a pretty unique spin.

“It is this year’s only main stage production of Hamlet for a general audience.”

Jeremy Bell stars as Hamlet. In real life, Jeremy has a Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and converted to the Catholic Faith in 2012.

“Jeremy is well versed in the scholastic views of the time. He comes into the role with a wealth of understanding,” Eugene continued. “Jeremy is an amazing intellect. He has such refinement as an actor and a person.”

Artes Christi runs a range of performances throughout the year.  The Hamlet performances will be held on Friday 14 October 2016 and Saturday 15 October 2016.

For further information and bookings for the production, click here or tel (02) 9351 7940.

Source: Diocese of Parramatta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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