This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of the nation’s greatest playwright, William Shakespeare, and The Festival Players Theatre Company will perform his most famous play, Hamlet at two venues on the Isles of Scilly over the weekend.
Thought to have been first performed in 1600 and possibly the greatest tragedy in the English language, Hamlet is a story of revenge. Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, is haunted by the ghost of his father, who tells him that he was murdered by his own brother, Claudius. Claudius not only wears the late king’s crown but has also married his wife, Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother. Hamlet has lost his father and his opportunity to be king, and possibly his sanity; can he believe the ghost, and if so how should he exact revenge? And who else will suffer along the way? As the song ‘That’s Entertainment’, the famous anthem to show business, puts it: “Some great Shakespearean scene, Where a ghost and a prince meet, And everyone ends in mincemeat!”
Festival Players Artistic Director Michael Dyer has brought the play, the bard’s longest, to a manageable length of 2 hours in the company’s trademark accessible format. Says Dyer: “Our shows are an amalgam of energy, entertainment and colour and we aim to make them clear and transparent, as well as keeping them short for the comfort of our patrons. We set out to take audiences of all ages on a journey and make them feel very much part of the production.”
FESTIVAL PLAYERS TOUR OF SCILLY STARTS TOMORROW
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The show will be performed at the Chaplaincy Gardens, St Mary’s on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th August at 7.30 pm. Tickets cost £12.50 (£10 concessions) and are available from the TIC or online via www.thefestivalplayers.co.uk.
This is an open-air production: if the weather is inclement the performance will take place inside the Parish Church. Please bring picnics. Hot drinks are available during the interval.
The show will then move to Tresco Abbey Garden on Sunday 14th August at 6.30pm. Tickets cost £12.50 (£10 concessions) and are available on the door or at The Estate Office.
This is also an open-air production and shall continue regardless of weather conditions. Please bring picnics and rugs. Refreshments will be available during the interval.
Presented in full costume, an all-male company brings the excitement of this great thriller: intrigue, ghostly visitations, passion, a play-within-a-play, a gripping duel, and humour, in a crystal-clear and fast-paced 2-hour production.
A small cast of six play multiple roles demanding quick costume changes, as well as performing as singers and musicians. This gives an exciting opportunity for the actors to show their energy and versatility. It will be directed by Worcestershire based Dyer, former director of Cornwall’s Minack Open Air Theatre.
This will be Dyer’s 12th all-male production in a row for the Players. “It is of course totally authentic - we are following in the footsteps of Shakespeare’s own Globe Theatre when all roles were taken by men. The Players have built a reputation for strong, all-male shows over the past eleven years.”
Dyer himself will play the small but vitally important part of the Ghost of Hamlet’s Father.