Hamlet’s father, King Hamlet, is dead. Deader than MySpace. Hamlet’s Uncle Claudius has married Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, and is now the new King of Denmark. Hamlet is visited by his father’s ghost, who tells Hamlet that he was murdered by Claudius – Hamlet swears to take revenge. No one calls Ghostbusters.
Hamlet starts acting crazy in order to buy time to find out if the ghost was telling the truth. He focuses his crazy on Ophelia, his girlf, telling her to "go to a nunnery", and her dad Polonius, the castle gossip, who he calls a "fishmonger" #ohsnap #yaburnt.
Hamlet decides to stage a play in which a king's brother kills the king in the exact same way that the ghost king said he was killed (poison in the ear) and watch Claudius' reaction. During the play, Claudius has a tantrum and leaves, indicating he is totes guilty. Hamlet goes to his mother to explain and, when he hears someone listening behind a curtain, thinks it is Claudius and stabs violently. But it isn't Claudius, it's Polonius! Hamlet has accidentally killed Polonius, whoops! Ophelia is driven mad with grief at her father’s death and is then found dead, drowned in a stream.
Uncle Claudius is really annoyed that Hamlet is walking around stabbing people, calling people fishmongers and investigating his guilt, and sends Hamster to England with mates Ros and Guil with a message to the English to kill him when he gets to his London Airbnb. Hamlet sees the note and switches it. Lucky. He escapes. Also, pirates have something to do with this bit. Then Hamlet returns to chat about existence with a skull and gravedigger clown. As you do.
The next bit has more dead bodies than Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' film clip. Laertes (Polonius' son and Ophelia’s brother) and Hamlet duel in a sword fight set up by Claudius. Claudius gives Laertes a poisoned sword and has also brought poisoned wine to offer Hamlet if Laertes fails to kill him #overkill. Hamlet’s mum Gertrude drinks the poisoned wine by mistake and dies. Laertes stabs Hamlet with the poison blade, but, before Hamlet dies, he takes the poison blade and kills Claudius and Laertes. Ros and Guil get killed at the London Airbnb. The stage ends up looking like a Walking Dead convention and the play ends with the Norwegian prince Fortinbras, who happened to be in the area, becoming king.
It’s as simple as that really.
This synopsis is part of the Hamlet: Prince of Skidmark program, which also features:
- lots of fun activities, including a quiz and tongue twisters
- an audition scene for Hamlet by The Listies
- cut-out diorama characters and props to make your very own production
- biographies and photos of the cast and crew
- photos from the rehearsal room
- and much more!
Pick one up at the theatre for only $10
Hamlet: Prince of Skidmark, 8 Nov – 10 Dec 2016, Roslyn Packer Theatre
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