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Hamnet

by Dead Centre
Direction: Bush Moukarzel and Ben Kidd (Dublin)
World Premiere


Guest performance during FIND 2017

»Grief fills the room up of my absent child.«
(William Shakespeare, King John, Act III scene iv)

Irish theatre collective Dead Centre’s new solo work for an 11-year-old boy is devoted to Shakespeare’s only son, Hamnet, who died in 1596 at the age of 11. His father, the famous poet who had abandoned his family and was pursuing his theatre career far away from his family, was unable to get back to Stratford-upon-Avon in time to see his child one last time before he died. In 1599 Shakespeare wrote Hamlet. A single letter separates Hamnetfrom the philosophical heights of Hamlet. Unlike the Prince, he cannot ask »to be or not to be«. Condemned not to be, he now seeks to understand the world from which he has been wrested. While waiting for a visit from his father – a visit that may never happen – all he has are the plays to act as a surrogate parent. But what is Shakespeare telling us? How to be? Or how not to be? Hamnet is too young to understand Shakespeare. We are too old to understand Hamnet. Youth reaching forward to a life it will never know, an audience reaching back to a life it has forgotten. Two generations, asking each other what they want to pass on and receive. In 2016 the Irish theatre group Dead Centre featured in FIND for the first time with »Chekhov’s First Play« and »LIPPY« and were an exciting new discovery for Berlin. In their work, Moukarzel and Kidd combine Anglo-Saxon narrative theatre with continental European director’s theatre, play with theatrical conventions whilst also creating a commentary on their own work and on the possibility of art.

Dead Centre, founded 2012 in Dublin by Bush Moukarzel and Ben Kidd. They developed their first project »Souvenir« for the 2012 Dublin Fringe and it then appeared in Londonand New York. Their second project »(S)quark!« was performed in Dublin and then travelled to Russia (2013). »LIPPY« celebrated its premiere in Dublin ( 2013) and has already gone on to appear in New York, London,Germany and Edinburgh.In 2015 »Chekhov’s First Play« premiered in Dublin and it has played across the world, including Holland, Estonia, Berlin, Bordeaux and Brisbane.

Direction: Bush Moukarzel, Ben Kidd
Text: Bush Moukarzel, Ben Kidd, William Shakespeare
Set Design: Andrew Clancy
Costume Design: Grace O Hara
Lighting Design: Stephen Dodd
Sound Design: Kevin Gleeson
Video: Jose Miguel Jimenez
Dramaturgy: Michael West
Production: Matthew Smyth, Rachel Murray

With: Ollie West

Duration: ca. 60 minutes


An Abbey Theatre and Dead Centre coproduction.

With kind support by