UNIQUE TWIST ON SHAKE­SPEARE TALE

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LIFESTYLE -

IT is rare to see a pro­duc­tion of Ham­let where the ti­tle char­ac­ter is not the star, but such is the case in The Tiger Lil­lies Per­form Ham­let.

Pre­sented at the re­cently re­fur­bished Re­gal Theatre for this year’s PIAF pro­gram, the Copen­hagen-based Republique Theatre show com­bines with the tal­ents of Bri­tish trio The Tiger Lil­lies for a mu­sic theatre ver­sion of Shake­speare’s clas­sic - and the band’s founder Mar­tyn Jaques com­mands the stage.

Be­gin­ning as a lone fig­ure play­ing the ac­cor­dion, his haunt­ing falsetto across 21 self-com­posed macabre cabaret songs nar­rates the pro­duc­tion with dys­func­tional fam­ily, mur­der and re­venge at its core.

The orig­i­nal Shake­spear­ian text has been con­densed into songs act­ing as po­etic cliff notes in this visu­ally en­gag­ing in­ter­pre­ta­tion with Brechtian theatre el­e­ments.

The au­di­ence is bom­barded by the weird and won­der­fully un­ex­pected, from hyp­notic pro­jec­tions and cast mem­bers sus­pended on cables, to fur­ni­ture at crazy an­gles and hu­man pup­petry.

All mu­si­cal in­stru­ments are played on­stage by Jaques and fel­low The Tiger Lil­lies band mem­bers Adrian Stout and Jonas Gol­land with the ex­cep­tion of Gertrude ac­tor Char­lotte En­gelkes on a white tuba.

Di­rec­tor Martin Tulin­ius has staged the most mem­o­rable Or­phe­lia (played by cir­cus-trained An­dreane Le­clerc) sui­cide scene this re­viewer has watched, ac­com­pa­nied by the dou­ble bass of a jazz bal­lad.

The Tiger Lil­lies Per­form Ham­let is a unique way for Perth au­di­ences to com­mem­o­rate the 400th an­niver­sary of Shake­speare’s death.

I think the play­wright would ap­prove of this ver­sion.

Tanya MacNaughton

TheTigerLil­liesPer­for­mHam­let at the re­cently re­fur­bished Re­gal Theatre as part of this year’s PIAF pro­gram.

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