All- male Play­ers to stage Bard’s Ham­let

Star Courier (Surrey & Hants) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

AC­CLAIMED Fes­ti­val Play­ers The­atre Com­pany is tour­ing with a dy­namic out­door pro­duc­tion of Ham­let, stop­ping off at Farn­ham Castle on Wednesday at 7.30pm.

The ex­pe­ri­enced com­pany from Glouces­ter­shire joins in this year’s cel­e­bra­tions to mark the 400th an­niver­sary since the death of Wil­liam Shake­speare.

Pre­sented in full cos­tume, the 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 two- hour pro­duc­tion.

The Play­ers’ artis­tic di­rec­tor Michael Dyer has brought the play, the Bard’s long­est, to this man­age­able length in the com­pany’s trade­mark ac­ces­si­ble for­mat.

A small cast of six play mul­ti­ple roles de­mand­ing quick cos­tume changes, as well as per­form­ing as singers and mu­si­cians. This gives an op­por­tu­nity for the ac­tors to show their en­ergy and ver­sa­til­ity. It will be di­rected by Worces­ter­shire- based Dyer.

This will be his 12th all­male pro­duc­tion run­ning for the Play­ers, and he said. “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 11 years.”

The ti­tle role of Ham­let will be played by Ben­jamin Way, Mark Spriggs will play Claudius, Joel Daf­furn will play Laertes, Guilden­stern and the First Player, while tak­ing the roles of Polo­nius, Gravedig­ger and Sec­ond Player is Paul Mills. Dyer will play the small but im­por­tant part of the Ghost of Ham­let’s Fa­ther. New­com­ers this year are Lee Peck and Jonny James- Jones. Peck will play Gertrude and Ho­ra­tio while James- Jones will be play­ing Ophe­lia, Rosen­crantz and Os­ric. Mu­sic has been spe­cially writ­ten by folk star Johnny Cop­pin.

A bar­be­cue, pizza and bar will be avail­able on the night but the au­di­ence need to take chairs or rugs. Tick­ets cost £ 16 adults and £ 10 for un­der- 12s, and can be booked at www. the­fes­ti­valplay­ers. co. uk / tour or by call­ing 01252 721194/ 01252 720400.

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