We discuss the film version (dir. Margaret Williams) of the Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre’s 2014/2015 HAMLET (dir. Sarah Frankcom) starring Maxine Peake as the Danish Prince. The production features several gender-swapped characters, including Polonia and Marcella, and features a stage completely surrounded by the audience. Find the complete list of production credits here.
0:00–2:36: Intro, Addenda to Ep. 5 on Coriolanus, Shakespeare 400 announcements
2:36–3:13: How to see the Maxine Peake production
3:14–10:30: Guest introductions and first impressions of the production
10:30–17:00: Innovations in line readings, including pacing
17:00–19:42: Hamlet’s madness and his dumb plans
19:42–28:00: Where does “To be or not to be” belong anyway?
28:00–32:00: Making Act IV work and Hamlet’s trip to England
32:00–41:30: Staging Act I Scene 2 around the dinner table
41:30–53:30: Polonia, the gender-swapped Polonius
53:30–55:00: Claudius, the wet noodle, and his relationship with Polonia and Gertrude
55:00–1:02:34: Costumes! And clothing! And virginity! Oh my!
1:02:34–1:06:20: Why did they rip the mat up off the stage?
1:06:20–1:10:20: Bird’s eye views of the stage and actors
0:50–8:12: Hamlet Sr. The Ghost
8:12–12:28: The fishmonger scene
12:28–30:00: Gender-swapping in the production
30:00–41:27: Using accents as a shorthand in Shakespeare productions
41:27–50:30: The Hamlet/Ophelia relationship
50:30-58:50: The theatre in the round and how it works
58:50–1:10:48: Filming the production for the screen
Host: Alex Heeney (@bwestcineaste)
Guests: Laura Anne Harris (http://lauraanneharris.com), Caitlin Merriman (@CaitlinSnark), and Lesley Peterson
Editor and Sound Recordist: Cam White (@JediDusk)
Follow us on Twitter @21stFolio.
Resources and notes
We discussed Lindsay Turner’s production of Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch, which was the production we talked about in Episode 1 here.
We also mention the RSC film of Hamlet directed by Greg Doran and starring David Tennant. This production will be the focus of a future episode. You can watch Greg Doran’s Hamlet online for free on PBS here.