Hamlet as you’ve never seen it before

JEALOUSY, hatred, pride, love and the deep complexities of mourning.

It will be William Shakespeare’s Hamlet as you’ve never seen it before as the Blue Cow Theatre brings the iconic play to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

Directed by Robert Jarman and featuring an all Tasmanian cast, the 2018 production will be showing throughout September in the atmospheric, crypt-like basement of the Bond Store, offering a unique twist to the Shakespeare classic.

The production will follow on the back of the highly successful 2016 staging of The Tempest at the same location.

Mr Jarman said it was very much the location that would make the production stand out and leave a lasting impression.

“I looked at a number of other locations to stage the play, but as soon as I stepped into the Bond Store, I knew we had to return here for Hamlet,” he said.

“The Bond Store has a very low ceiling and only seats around 80 people, which will make this a very close, intimate and passionate experience – it will be Hamlet in your lap and have an incredible chemistry about it.”

Cutting the original four-and-a-half-hour script to just more than two-hours, Mr Jarman said he took great care to ensure the story was easy to follow.

“There are so many subplots in Hamlet, but here they are all gone – audience members will be able to grasp the story immediately and really travel along with it,” he said.

“Shakespeare wrote brilliantly about a lot of things, but I think Hamlet is where he is at his absolute best in terms of tackling human emotions, taking on the big question of how to deal with our own mortality.

“This is a weighty play, but it is also beautifully written and human-sized.

“So even though it is dealing with the most enormous of questions, it does it in a personal and intimate way that people can relate to.

“I’m also excited to welcome an all Tasmanian cast, some of who will be travelling down from the north-west of the state.

“It’s quite a young cast, which is a bit unusual for Hamlet, but I really wanted this to not only be a fresh take on a classic play, but to feel fresh and have some fresh new faces.”

Taking on the lead role as Hamlet will be well known Tasmanian actor Scott Farrow, who has featured in such works as The Tempest (2016), Ruben Guthrie (2012) and Les Miserables (2008).

Born and raised in Hobart, the 36-year-old said Hamlet was always something he wanted to tackle.

“Hamlet has always been in the back of mind, thinking that one day I would get to it when I knew more about myself and the craft of acting, and now definitely feels like the right time to take it on,” he said.

“It is obviously quite a daunting role, but also easy in a way as Shakespeare is such a fantastic writer that he gives you everything you need – it’s written so skilfully that you can’t help but concentrate on the text.

“Hamlet is a role that every actor needs to do at least once in their career and Robert has done an absolutely amazing job with the script.”

Mr Farrow said for him, the play was about grief and the funny things that it could do to people.

“Every actor who has played this role has done so differently, and I think that it is a by-product of the play,” he said.

“No two Hamlets are the same because every person deals with grief in a different way and actors will draw on their own emotions and experiences.

“The words are all the same, but it is how we navigate the journey as an actor that makes it different for everyone.”

Other cast members include Andrew Casey, Jordy Gregg, Ross Hay, Guy Hooper, Anna Kidd, Jane Longhurst and Matt Rossner.

Hamlet will be showing at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery from 7-22 September.

For more information or to book, visit www.theatreroyal.com.au/shows/hamlet.

Caption: Hobart actor Scott Farrow will be taking on the iconic role of Hamlet in Blue Cow’s upcoming production. Photo credit: Madison Jones.

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