Acclaimed Hamlet returns to Theatre on the Bay
After playing to 5-star reviews and standing ovations at the National Arts Festival and in Europe, Pieter Toerien proudly presents a limited season of Fred Abrahamse & Marcel Meyer’s internationally acclaimed Hamlet at Theatre on the Bay in April 2017.
The production takes its inspiration from one of the earliest recorded performances of Hamlet during Shakespeare’s lifetime. In 1608, off the East Coast of South Africa, the crew of the East India Ship, Red Dragon performed Hamlet aboard their ship. In his log, on March 31, 1608, Captain Keeling noted: “I invited Captain Hawkins to a fish dinner, and had ‘Hamlet’ acted aboard me, which I permit to keep my people from idleness and unlawful games or sleep.”
This production of Hamlet re-imagines Shakespeare’s most iconic play within the context of the historic 1607 performance aboard The Red Dragon as a play within a play, utilizing a cast of only six actors playing six Jacobean sailors who, in turn, play all the parts in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Critics have hailed it as a multi sensory experience…imbued with wonder and as daring, modern, exciting and topical.
The production stars Marcel Meyer in the title role, with veteran Shakespearean actor, Michael Richard taking the role of King Claudius. Dean Balie doubles as Polonius and Horatio with Jeremy Richard as Laertes, Matthew Baldwin as Ophelia and Callum Tilbury in the role of Queen Gertrude. ‘Hamlet’ is directed by Abrahamse who has, over a 35 year career, directed over 150 productions in all genres, including classical theatre, opera, musical theatre and contemporary plays.
On Wednesday, April 12, Theatre on the Bay’s first ever Cape Talk talk-back panel discussion will take place immediately after the first performance of ‘Hamlet’ that will start earlier, at 7:30pm. This unique event will give attending patrons an exclusive opportunity to engage with a panel of leading Shakespeareans and gain rare insights into this most fascinating of Shakespeare’s plays. The Panel will be chaired by veteran Cape Talk presenter John Maytham who trained as an actor and has been working in radio for more than 20 years. He will be joined by Abrahamse, Meyer, Richard and Dr Derrick Higginbotham from UCT.