A play that explores the moves and motives of one of Shakespeare's most enigmatic characters will be staged at the Georgian Theatre on Wednesday 20 April as part of Richmond’s Shakespeare Festival.
Something Rotten presents the events of Hamlet – one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays – from the viewpoint of King Claudius; the uncle-turned stepfather whose regicidal, fratricidal activities awaken the vengeful impulses of his nephew-turned stepson.
“Claudius is an endlessly intriguing character,” says Robert Cohen (pictured), the writer-performer of Something Rotten. “We know he murdered Hamlet’s father and married his mother, but beyond that, we don’t have much to go on. For instance, how long has Claudius had designs on his brother’s crown? How long has he been having extra-marital relations with his wife, Gertrude? How did he get on with his nephew, prior to these recent upheavals?”
All this and more will be explored in the show which will have equal appeal to those who are familiar or unfamiliar with the original text of Hamlet.
Also at the Theatre as part of the Festival is Opera Nova on Thursday 21 April. This evening of music is inspired by the works of Shakespeare and includes excerpts from Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Beatrice and Benedict, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story and The Fairy Queen.
On Saturday 23 April, there will be afternoon and evening performances of Shakespeare plays by two teams representing Richmond School Drama Club, Richmond School Sixth Form Theatre Company, The Georgian Theatre Royal Youth Theatre and Richmond Church of England Primary School. This is Shakespeare '16 will involve students ranging in age from 7 to 18 who will explore Shakespeare’s relevance to themselves and their surroundings through performance.
The Shakespeare Festival takes place from Monday 18 to Sunday 24 April in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death. Further details of all Festival events can be found online at www.richmond.org