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

Review: Shakespeare’s Hamlet, dir. Sarah Frankcom at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 11 Sept – 25 Oct 2014

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Before the performance begins, the audience are confronted with two boxes on stage. They are filled with clothes and rapier handles that jut out from the sea of material. The display is a reminder of the production’s preoccupation with artifice and the role of costumes in establishing gender, while the twin boxes suggest Continue reading

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