What should audiences expect from seeing Anti-Hamlet? The audience can engage with Anti-Hamlet on all sorts of levels. As a straight up comedy, a satire of contemporary Australia, a parody of Shakespeare’s play. There’s also some real human moments and an extraordinary cast playing big characters.
How does the show rework Shakespeare's original? We’ve taken some characters and the basic plot, and we jazz them into Australia now. Hamlet’s a discontented prince, yes, but he’s also just a 30-year-old Australian guy. The things that Shakespeare was talking about—corruption, the individual and the collective, what action is—they’re all in there, but with a contemporary urgency.
How is the story relevant to contemporary Australia? We’ve taken the situation and plonked it right in the middle of everything that’s bubbling here and now. We call it Denmark, but that’s really just a joke – a thin mask. The characters on stage, the issues we’re engaging with, are recognisable as what we see in our parliaments, on the news and on the street.
What are the challenges of both directing and acting? There are two big challenges: time and perspective. Time is solved by management, by scheduling. Perspective is solved by an amazing group of collaborators, and a shared understanding of what we’re trying to make. I’ve worked with most of the team before, and have wanted to work with everyone else. It’s a big messy all-in dream team.