New Hamlet heads straight for Cape Town after this avant-garde theatre piece, an opening attraction at the National Arts Festival, shook up Grahamstown!
Acclaimed author and director Boris Nikitin rewrites the most famous of all theatre pieces, Hamlet, and transforms it into a contemporary performance for audiences who love the avant-garde.
In a mix of experimental documentary play and music-theatre, the enigmatic performer and electronic musician, Julia*n Meding, takes over the part of a modern Hamlet who revolts against reality. Supported by a baroque-quartet, Meding takes himself on a tour de force on stage by introducing and exposing identities of himself to the public. Meding, giving details from his personal life story, revolts against the audience, like Hamlet against his royal court he attacks the public, agitates, flirts with them, mocks them and tries to seduce them.
Time and again he seizes the microphone, he starts to sing: raw electropunk, sketchy cover songs, and ballads – Words, sung as fragments of emotions. Meding’s/Hamlet’s performance dazzles between offensive jestering and vain jokes, exaggerated gestures and confrontational pose. Is this Meding? Or Hamlet? Is he serious? Or is it all a game? “Is he or isn’t he”? Is he not both at the same time, eventually?
The performance crossfades documentary and fiction into a contemporary version of Hamlet in which the conflict zone interplays between illusion and reality, individual and society. Challenging audiences to approach the themes of “Hamlet” in new ways, the energetic 90 minute performance confronts the traditional theatre aesthetic through camera work broadcast live on to stage. “Hamlet” is poetic rebellion: raw, coarse, confrontational, anti-social, captivating.
WHEN & WHERE: 4 and 5 July at Institute for the Creative Arts – The Little Theatre, University of Cape Town, Hiddingh Hall, Orange St, Cape Town 8001
While entrance is FREE, booking is essential. RSVP at: email@example.com
Subject Line: Hamlet Booking – Include name, contact telephone and number of tickets required
“Nikitin’s Hamlet brings the debate on reality in contemporary theatre to a new level.” – Theater der Zeit
“It’s an evening that holds us while making us swing … There are only a few directors who lead theatre to such a critical point as Boris Nikitin currently does.” – Theater Heute
PHOTO: Donata Ettlin