Theatre gives Hamlet a Japanese makeover

Picture by Stevie Pickering:
Picture by Stevie Pickering:

To celebrate the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth, The Archway Theatre in Horley is presenting a new interpretation of Hamlet.

Denmark was once considered a far away country with foreign customs and it is represented in the Archway’s interpretation by feudal Japan.

This production runs until Saturday, October 4.

The Japanese setting is conjured in set, costume and bespoke musical composition and aims to highlight the play’s themes of duty, hierarchy and honour.

Hamlet, a prince, is visited by the ghost of his murdered father with the news that his uncle, who has usurped the throne and married the Queen, is the murderer.

Challenged to avenge his father, Hamlet must find a way to test his uncle’s conscience while manipulating the court, his young love Ophelia and staying sane amid plots and intrigue.

The play explores what it is to be human, what it is to be sane, loyal, in love and confronted by challenges. However, Shakespeare never wrote a tragedy without great swathes of humour to throw the insight and introspection into sharp relief.

Samurai swordfights are included in the show.

The production starts at 7.45pm. Tickets cost £8.50 for members and £10 for non-members. Call 0333 666 3366 (£1.50 booking fee) or click here