iHamletTheatre on the Bay
This fresh new adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” by Robin Malan was collaged for playwright/performer Johaardien and puts him on the boards speaking the words of only the central character. “Here we have Hamlet crystallized, Hamlet himself, by himself, being himself, speaking himself, revealing himself, through the medium of one particular actor,” says Malan.
According to Johaardien he has always wanted to perform the Bard’s moody Dane, not only because the role is iconic, but also because the play focuses on character rather than action: “The play is one of the most powerful and influential tragedies in the English language and the character is a man for all ages,” he says. “Hamlet’s central moral dilemma transcends the Elizabethan period. His struggle to act in a corrupt world while maintaining a sense of his moral integrity reflects the same dilemmas we have faced through the ages and which we still face in South Africa and all over the world today,” he adds.
Fellow Capetonian and UCT Drama graduate, Jade Bowers will direct and design the production. She explains why iHamlet: “Firstly, this will be an authentically South African Hamlet; adapted, directed and performed by South Africans.” She continues, “It’s also Hamlet for an iPad, iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry, Facebook, Twitter, Wi-Fi, i-generation. These social networking spaces are effectively the new platforms for the performances and monologues of everyday life.” Although neither Malan’s adaptation nor Bowers’ production concept explicitly reflects or necessarily references this, the way in which Malan has cut and collaged one of Shakespeare’s longest plays into an hour-long solo performance mirrors this contemporary fixation with the “i” of the adaptation’s title.