University of Leicester eBulletin

Happiness is a Performance Called Hamlet...

March 2003
No 86

Following the success of Cows - the Musical, which was taken by Leicester University Theatre to the 2001 Edinburgh Festival, the chance to take another original production north was too tempting to resist.

To that end, and in an effort to raise much needed funds for the proposed expedition to the 2003 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the team charged with this immense task have put into motion the production of a new, avant-garde, production of the classic tale of secrecy, betrayal and murder, Hamlet.

In a production arranged and directed by the experienced LUT operator and auteur, Tony Joslin, the text has been reduced to just two hours, without losing the important aspects of the story. The setting for the production has been brought forward to the period of Prohibition in late 1920s America, although no accents have been added to highlight this, due to fears it might spoil the original Shakespearean language.

In an ambitious expansion of the original script, several extra scenes have been added to give emphasis to the main storyline and these will be performed in Mime to various pieces of contemporary music. Furthermore the 'Players' scene is to be performed in a modern dance style with the use of Masks.

The internal struggles of The Denmark family will be brought to light in extraordinarily atmospheric fashion. The play itself is to be performed in Traverse, bringing the audience much closer to the action, with added effect being provided by a complicated technical, lighting and music plot.

The feeling that this could be a chance to raise significant funds to take the exciting new play, How I learned to stop worrying and Love my Toys, currently being written by another former student, Steve Rodgers, to Edinburgh, was the main motivation behind giving support to the project. It was a welcome bonus that it allowed those not fortunate enough to be cast in this terms LUT plays to be involved in a quality production.

For Mr Joslin's part, the risk of funding and producing a play himself was one he was more than willing to accept if it meant bringing his vision to the stage. With the Edinburgh Committee's support, it also allowed him to lend support to a cause not far from his own heart.

Performance times are as follows - Sunday, March 16 at 1.30pm and Monday - Tuesday, March 16-18 at 7.30pm at The Venue Theatre in the Percy Gee Building at the University of Leicester. Tickets for the production can be purchase from the LUT Box Office on 0116 252 2000.

NOTE TO EDITORS: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON LUT'S VISIT TO THE FRINGE CALL ROB RICKS ON 07736 509 626 .

FOR SPECIFIC INFORMATION ON THE HAMLET PRODUCTION CALL TONY JOSLIN ON 0116-2915880 OR HANNA-MARI SALORANTA ON 07766 347919 .

[University Home] [Press and Publications] [University Index A-Z][University Search][University Help]
Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: March 2003
University Administration Web Maintainer

This document has been approved by the head of department or section.