Film Review: Maxine Peake As Hamlet (2015), directed for the screen by Margaret Williams.

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Maxine Peake as Hamlet

Maxine Peake As Hamlet enabled me to rewatch last year’s astonishing stage production directed by Sarah Frankcom at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre. Although I have already reviewed the production here (where I focus on gender), the filmed version shown at The Cornerhouse Cinema, Manchester on April 2, 2015, gave me the opportunity to concentrate on how cleverly the production tackles the theme of madness. Continue reading

The Female Hamlet

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Following an immediate sell-out of tickets for Sarah Frankcom’s production of Hamlet (reviewed in my last post) that necessitated a further week of performances and widespread media attention, the Royal Exchange Theatre hosted a panel discussion with Frankcom, Tony Howard and Maggie Gale. Both Howard and Gale have an academic background in theatre. Tony Howard is a Professor at the University of Warwick specialising in Shakespeare performance who has published the book Women as Hamlet: Performance and Interpretation in Theatre, Film and Fiction (2007). The chair, Maggie Gale, is a Professor of drama at the University of Manchester. What follows is my summary of a fascinating discussion that not only debated gender issues, but also the theatre’s role in our entertainment-saturated society. Continue reading

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