“Grief fills the room up of my absent child” King John, Act III, Scene IV
William Shakespeare had one son. He named him Hamnet. He then left home to pursue his career in the theatre, effectively abandoning his family. In 1596, he was told that the boy – who was then eleven years old – was seriously ill. By the time Shakespeare reached Stratford, Hamnet had died.
In 1599, Shakespeare wrote a play called Hamlet.
Hamnet is too young to understand Shakespeare. And he is one letter away from being a great man. We are too old to understand Hamnet. How close are we to greatness? We meet in the middle, in a theatre, in purgatory: youth reaching forward to a life it will never know, an audience reaching back to a life it has forgotten.
From the makers of the Fringe First and OBIE Award winning LIPPY and Chekhov’s First Play, Hamnet is a solo work for an eleven year old boy.
Text by Bush Moukarzel, Ben Kidd and William Shakespeare
Directed by Bush Moukarzel and Ben Kidd
Performed by Aran Murphy
Stage design: Andrew Clancy
Costume design: Grace O Hara
Lighting design: Stephen Dodd
Sound design: Kevin Gleeson
Video: Jose Miguel Jimenez
Dramaturgy: Michael West
Choreography: Liv O’Donoghue
Producer: Aisling Ormonde
Production Manager: Nic Ree
Stage Manager: Barbara Hughes
Stage Effects: Eugenia Genunchi
Dead Centre’s work includes: Souvenir (Dublin Fringe 2012) which toured to London, New York, Brisbane and Seoul; LIPPY (Dublin Fringe 2013) which toured internationally including to Berlin, New York, Traverse in Edinburgh and the Young Vic London, and won multiple awards including Irish Times Award for Best Production, 2 OBIEs, and a Fringe First; Chekhov’s First Play (Dublin Theatre Festival 2015), which has toured internationally including to Russia, France, Germany, London and Amsterdam; Hamnet, (Dublin Theatre Festival 2017), which has toured to London, Holland, Boston and Berlin; and most recently, Shakespeare’s Last Play, which premiered at Schaubühne, Berlin in 2018.
[stars-5] “Hamnet is a child frozen in time to devastating effect” Irish Times [break]
“An extraordinarily fascinating and moving disposition on the meaning of life and particularly of death” Independent on Sunday [break]
“This fascinating production takes us into a child’s view of the world, without any sentimentality.” The Guardian [break]
“Hamnet demonstrates the tragic experience par excellence: he asks the question why thinking leads so rarely to action…. a highlight of the festival.” Berliner Zeitung
Show Warning: Contains strong language and adult nudity
Duration: 60 minutes, no interval