What a Ride! The New Working Group and Theatre Works present Anti Hamlet by Mark Wilson. What immediately stood out for me was how the stage was used, I loved the technique that allowed a full circumnavigation of a central stage for all the performers, and they were coitanaly putting it out there butt naked and wanking on stage, nyuck, nyuck! The 3 Stooges like slapstick, what a laugh, or was it a turkey slap to our modern-day wannabe rulers?
I love Theatre works productions, opening night oysters, yum, but there is always meatier stuff to get one’s teeth into.
Must say I missed Yorick btw, but this resonance of historic document of those that would rule is blatantly portrayed in all the organ sucking reality of modern politics.
Transposing our current leadership dilemma against the age-old bard’s Danish court and its various turmoil, missed loves and recrimination, the play is an unnerving mockery of Australia today, and I must admit the rawness and literal stripping down of the Oz political geography and guides us as to how the depravity of how this appendage sucking bunch of the ruling elite marries in so well to the timeless story of the Prince of Denmark.
Mark Wilson certainly has a bold and brazen approach to his writing and direction and his acting is just something else, not sure if my jaw has ever dropped quite like it did in some scenes.
A Freudian, Oedipusian romp where Hamlet foils his life against the advice of the father of psychoanalysis analyst Sigmund Freud, an hilariously mooted performance by Brian Lipson, who floats in and out of the plot and indeed life during the length of this outrageous mélange.
Ophelia’s, Natascha Flowers, sad fawning to an obviously disinterested Hamlet who is happily about having it off with other blokes on set, almost every other cast member, even ‘porques’ his mum…it is a very ‘Strine’ accent for a bard’s tome! I suppose she represents a haunting regale to sensibility until she also goes nuts.
Marco Chiappi’s Claudius nailed the arrogance of particularly our current right wing political leaders and the character Edward Bernays also was scarily real in his, what I saw as an, expression of US demagoguery and commercial colonialism.
Gertrude played by Natasha Herbert was such a hoot, representing a tired nation that is being screwed and buggered from all sides by internal discord and foreign interference. Gawd save the Queen! A powerful performance amongst a circus of ideas.
I felt for the noble Horatio, Marcus McKenzie, until it all got down and dirty – this is a very highly charged yet totally warped experience that the squeamish might avoid, but if you are brave enough you will certainly leave the theatre shaking your head at what just transpired and totally entertained by this of Hamlet’s slide into madness.
Bent as it is I like it a lot and had 5 oysters after the show
Duration: 120 minutes, includes interval
Warnings: Recommended for audience 16+ years. This show contains confronting themes, strong sexual content, nudity, frequent coarse language, smoke effects and cigarette smoking
Writer/Director: Mark Wilson
Associate Artist: Olivia Monticciolo
Producer: Mark Pritchard
Cast: Marco Chiappi, Natascha Flowers, Natasha Herbert, Brian Lipson, Marcus McKenzie, Charles Purcell and Mark Wilson
Set and Costume Design: Romanie Harper
Lighting Design: Amelia Lever-Davidson
Sound Design: Tom Backhaus