Open-air Summer Show

HAMLET

by William Shakespeare

A skull wearing a crown

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


CAST & CREW

Bernardo Roger Toone
Francisco Ian Bradley
Horatio Ciaran Redmond
Marcellus Aaron MacKenzie
Ghost of Hamlet's Father
Victor Guse
Claudius John Myhill
Gertrude Jan Stoppani
Polonius Rob Kendall
Laertes James Lickman
Ophelia Amy Whitehouse
Hamlet Tom Morath
Voltemand Owen Warr
Rosencrantz Mairead Kearins
Guildenstern Beverly Webster
Reynaldo Ian Bradley
Player King Martin Williams
Player Queen Bernadette Wood
Lucianus / Player / Lord Kevin Evans
Sailor / Player / Lord Kevin Pinks
Fortinbras Sion Grace
Norwegian Captain Aaron MacKenzie
Grave Digger Mark Mortimer
Osric April Pardoe
Priest / Lady-in-Waiting Sheila Jenkins
Lady-in-Waiting Ingrid Heymann

Director Rob Kendall
Stage Manager & Wardrobe Clare Brittain
Costume Pam Mann
Lighting & Sound Design Megan Lucus, Philip Welsh
Continuity Diane Wyman
Hospitality
Maggie Holland
Box Office Sue Howes
Front of House
Masque Theatre members
Programme Graham Follett
Publicity Jen Kenny, Tamsyn Payne

Preview: '2C or not 2C - don't let it be a question!'

Rob Kendall | director

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?

Tom Morath as Hamlet

Tom Morath as Hamlet

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.

Experienced cast

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)