Female-led, 1960s set ‘Hamlet’ coming to Arts Centre Melbourne

Female-led, 1960s set ‘Hamlet’ coming to Arts Centre Melbourne


Bell Shakespeare will present their long-awaited return of 'Hamlet' at Arts Centre Melbourne from 28 April until 14 May after a two-year hibernation.

Bell Shakespeare first launched their critically-acclaimed, female-led and contemporary version of the bard’s Hamlet in 2020, upon which it was promptly closed due to state lockdowns. It was cancelled under further lockdowns throughout 2021, but now it makes its grand return to the Arts Centre stage, replete with snow falling upon Elsinore.

Directed by Bell Shakespeare artistic director Peter Evans, with Harriet Gordon-Anderson reprising her role as the Danish prince, Shakespeare’s seminal revenge tragedy is reimagined for contemporary audiences, transporting them to a wintery Denmark in the 1960s. Inside the glamorous court, a family is torn apart by murder and betrayal. Outside, with snow softly falling on the stage, a country is threatened by Norway. At the centre of this struggle is a young man’s grief for a murdered father.

What you need to know

  • Bell Shakespeare are presenting their contemporary production of Hamlet
  • Set in 1960s Denmark, the female-led performance reimagines the bard’s original
  • It will run at Arts Centre Melbourne from 28 April – 14 May.

Check out Melbourne’s latest stage shows and theatrical events here.

“The response we received in 2020 to this play and all the work that has gone into it since, we really weren’t prepared to give up on this production and hope that third time’s the charm,” Evans says. “We can’t wait for audiences to get the chance to see the play, and Harriet Gordon-Anderson’s extraordinary performance as Hamlet.

“Hamlet is an astonishing work of art, imbued with both comedy and tragedy, love and loss, and was the first work Bell Shakespeare ever staged. My hope is we can all find ourselves in the ideas of this play, not the cultural specificity, not in the period it was written or the period of the production, but in the experience of longing, of grief, of delight, of pain, of being a parent, of being a child, and perhaps, if I may be so bold, of being.”

Hamlet will be presented in the Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne from 28 April – 14 May 2022. Grab tickets and find more info here.