Hamlet from a different viewpoint

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Outrageous Fortune

A collaboration between Square Chapel, Associate Artist Debs Newbold, Harrogate and Greenwich Theatres and funded by the Arts Council.

Fronted by Sqaure Chapel Associate Artist Debs Newlove - one of the UK’s leading performance storytellers - this will be a ground-breaking shake-up of a cultural icon and bold exploration of femininity, power and sexuality, Outrageous Fortune is an ambitious, multi-disciplinary new work inspired by Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Told through the eyes of his mother, Gertrude - a sexual revolutionary whose prodigious power is often overlooked in stagings of the play - this original parallel narrative will demand answers that take us beyond Hamlet as we know it. How does a mature, experienced woman respond to having her sexuality ridiculed, power quashed and agency denied by the men around her? What would Gertrude make of female post-40 sexuality in 2018? In the 400 years since Hamlet was written, what, if anything, has changed? Placed under a 21st century lens where #metoo and #timesup campaigns are publicly shaming inequality, corruption and the abuse of power, Outrageous Fortune will offer an alternative perspective, putting a woman front and centre in a notorious story of male revenge.

In collaboration with internationally renowned director/clowning expert John Wright and music producer, DJ and experimental kit drummer Luke Harney, Debs will explore all of this and more using improvised text, Shakespearean verse, dynamic physicality and cacophonous sound.

“Gertrude would have loved the chance to tell her story. In Hamlet, Shakespeare hardly lets her speak. Well now, she’ll have me. And a drum kit. So she can make as much noise as she likes,” says Debs. “I can’t wait to get into the rehearsal room again with John – it’s always an explosion of ideas when we get together.”