The Mouth – Bournemouth – Poole – Christchurch

A review of Vita Nova’s Hamlet

By Gerry

Written and directed by Lee Hart. This is a modern day adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Using current day issues to relate a classic tale, with the purpose of reaching a wide audience.

The cast “all recovering addicts” Bring a realism and naivety, which is refreshing and enlivening to a tale of betrayal, greed, and deceit in a language that is easy to understand.

The story played out around Hamlet, his friends and family. The setting is based on drug dealing, gang wars, territorial control and power struggles. All of which the cast, lend their own experience of drug addiction. Giving it a certain authenticity only gained from personal experience.

Delivered to, and well received by an audience of peers, and professional support workers, the night started with a certain amount of anticipation.

Starting with a scene of carnage, with Horatio holding a knife and surrounded by the bodies of Hamlet, Gertrude, “Hamlet’s mother” and Claudius, “Hamlet’s uncle”. And with the wail of an ever approaching Police siren and then the shout of armed Police “put down the knife” Horatio putting down the knife shouts “I can explain everything”

I must confess I thought, “Well Horatio lets see you talk your way out of this one”, it didn’t look good.

Then the play takes you back in time, and we start to find out what led up to this opening scene. The intrigue the twist and turns, and the raw emotions, of a piece of work that shows quite clearly that as big as you may think you are, this road only leads to casualties, dereliction, and death.

The act where Ophelia, “Hamlets lover’ commits suicide was done with originality, and tenderness, with her body prone on the floor, I was left with no small amount of emotion. Also Hamlets descent into madness, very was well done, standing there with his demons on his shoulders, was not only thought provoking but filled me with a feeling of empathy.

A ripping improvisation that starts at the end and ends with the beginning, and designed to be taken to schools and collages for the purpose of drug awareness and debate. By people once part of a growing drug culture and problem, but now part of the solution for drug recovery, giving their time freely, to carry a message in a creative way. to students and people struggling to find their own recovery, And with this strong desire to preserve their own freedom from active addiction, and in some small way payback society.

The characters Played by

Hamlet Rupert

Claudius Dave

Gertrude Jane

Horatio Frank

Marcellus Ali

Ophelia Tracey

The Ghost Ignatius

Directed by Lee Hart

Assistant Director Kevin Plum

Light and sound Brian & Geoff

Stage manager Harriett Dale

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