555 Lian Min Lu
Qingpu Qu, Shanghai Shi
WISS Performing Arts proudly presents Prince of Denmark, by Michael Lesslie, performed by the WISS Theatre Ensemble at the Orsini Theatre on Wednesday and Thursday, 17th and 18th January 2018 at 6.30pm.
The place: Elsinore, Denmark, ten years before the events in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
This clever and funny prequel to Shakespeare’s masterpiece has nothing to do with the Denmark of the 10th century and everything to do with the present. Brooding teenagers unhappy with their fathers, sisters feeling suffocated by their brothers and fathers, newcomers wondering if they make something of themselves in a cut-throat world. And Elsinore is a place of secrets and lies, where nothing is what it appears to be. And mirrors and surveillance distort everything.
The plot is easy: Hamlet has been grounded in his rooms by the King, his father, but he has a secret meeting with the girl of his adolescent ambitions, Ophelia, which he doesn’t want to miss. So he persuades an actor who’s due to perform for the King, to impersonate him and take his place while Hamlet goes off in search of the beautified Ophelia.
Laertes, democratic, common, ambitious and, let’s face it, downright sinister, doesn’t like the idea of Hamlet gallivanting around with his sister, and so decides to… kill him. Laertes, as part of a dastardly plot, asks Osric (landed, noble, stupid, but above all, a coward), to help him. The plan can’t go wrong, can it?
The simple plot line surfaces over underlying themes as the characters question whether they have the power to change their own lives? What is it to be a young person growing up with a sense of responsibility and desire to do something with their life? What is it to protect those close to us who might be vulnerable to manipulation?
For those who know Hamlet, references are comically woven into the text which will definitely satisfy your literary sensibility. For those who don’t, this is a great introduction to Shakespeare’s world.
Places are free but please book ahead with firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat.