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Prague Shakespeare Company
One man. Seventeen Characters. Ninety Minutes. In his tour-de-force one-man presentation of HAMLET, Guy Roberts presents unique insights into the mind of Shakespeare’s greatest and most famous creation. Using only Shakespeare’s words, in a conflated text that incorporates the First Folio (with additional aspects from the First and Second Quarto), the audience experiences the world of the play through Hamlet’s eyes – only seeing and hearing the scene and moments that the character Hamlet himself experiences in the play. Taking this singular journey with the Prince of Denmark, audiences will understand the actions, themes and motives of the play’s main character as never before. Whether seen as story of devastating human domestic passions or a suspenseful political mystery of intrigue, revenge and betrayal, the tragedy of Denmark’s “sweet prince” continues to challenge and inspire.
Originally performed 10 years ago in Prague and on tour in Houston, TX USA (in association with Classical Theatre Company, JJ Johnston Artistic Director, who also co-directed the Houston version with Roberts), the production drew rave reviews. This new version builds on Roberts ten years of growth as an artist since the original production. PSC Artistic Director Guy Roberts starring as Hamlet, states, “People change, grow and develop, as does a cultures’ response to an artistic work. The world is very different today than it was ten years ago and so my Hamlet must likewise grow and change. It would be impossible and ill-advised to simply remount a decade old success. It is incredibly exciting for me to once again, after ten years, examine Hamlet the play and man. Perhaps what keeps Hamlet fresh and exciting is that these questions remain for each audience: why does not Hamlet immediately avenge his father’s murder? Is it the weight of the conscience ‘that doth make cowards of us all?’ What keeps us from acting on our basest and most immediate impulses—is it social convention or personal morality—or simply the fear of punishment? What keeps us alive when all forces point towards giving up and submitting to death—that ‘undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns?’ Is Hamlet a hero? Perhaps—but the ambiguity of his heroic nature is what keeps him so fascinating. Though the play contains as much intrigue (and possibly bloodshed) as many action movies, no hero—or villain—in history has embodied such a complexity of thought and emotion. In the end, Hamlet is an exciting and essential theatrical experience compelling audiences to decide for themselves whether he is philosopher, dilettante, hero, villain, lover, madman, fighter, victim or some fluid, ambiguous and contradictory combination of all of these.”
Roberts stars and directs from his adaptation of the play. The production is approximately 90 minutes long without an interval.
Directed, Adapted and Performed: Guy Roberts
Creation production: Eric Sammons
Lighting design: Přemysl Janda
Sets: Brad Caleb Lee
Costumes: Eva Bellefeuille
Sound design: Eric Sammons, Jeff Smith