It’s time to pack that picnic basket and head for the newly renovated PEMADS LITTLE THEATRE in Belmont Terrace. This year’s production, Hamlet 2013, is in the hands of Linda-Louise Swain, who has had a long association with the Port Elizabeth Shakespearean Festival, both from the acting and directorial sides.
Hamlet was last staged in Fort Frederick in 2000, to mark the anniversary of the first production of Hamlet in South Africa, by the garrison in the Fort in 1800. This particular traditional production was also directed by Linda-Louise, with her studio partner, Sharon Rother. And Hamlet 2013 promises to be a very different one! Set right now, it will be staged as an intimate production, and played in the three-quarter round. The title role will be played by instinctual performer, Andrew White, who switches from musical and childrens’ theatre with ease and who has encapsulated the character with the necessary sense of borderline madness. The strong supporting cast consists of Cameron Robertson as King Claudius and Mannville stalwart, Lesley Barnard, as Queen Gertrude. The Ghost of King Hamlet is played by Gift Buqa, with Jessica Rijs as Ophelia and David Emery as Laertes. Stalwarts, Dennis Slattery, as one of the gravediggers and Ray Saunders as Polonius, ensure some of the lighter moments of the play. Hamlet 2013 has been cut considerably to make it more user-friendly for a 2013 audience, as uncut, it plays at four hours. This particular production will run at 2 hours and 10 minutes.
The small Shakespearean company of 14 is completed by young, but very experienced performers, in Amy Annear as the Gravedigger, Chloe Shelton as Barnardo, Thabiso Beau and Deon Strydom as Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, Arthur Daniels as Horatio and in the more senior category, another familiar face on the greensward, Phambili Ncwanyisa as Marcellus.
Hamet 2013 takes place at 7.30p.m. every evening at PEMADS LITTLE ThEATRE from 16 to 26 January. Tickets for scholars and students are R30 and for public: R50. The box office is open at the theatre from 6.30p.m. For block bookings/school bookings: phone Helen: 041 5811738. There will be a patrons’ gala on 15 January at 7.30p.m.
On a balmy summer night, PEMADS is the place to be. Wine, dine and have a cultural feast.