Shakespeare's Hamlet heads to Northampton park

Tom Morath as Hamlet
Tom Morath as Hamlet

One of the most famous works by William Shakespeare will be performed in the open air in Northampton starting later this week.

Hamlet is the summer’s open air production by the Northampton group Masque Theatre at Abington Park Museum Courtyard.

The play is probably best known for one of Hamlet’s lines To be or not to be which can be delivered in a number of ways to ask the question and probably even better known is the skull sequence thanks to a beer advert when court jester Yorick’s skull is pulled put of the ground and Hamlet considers how short life can be.

The play has been edited by director Rob Kendall to suit the open air performance.

Hamlet, played by Tom Morath, is trying to find out if his own father was ‘poisoned’ by his uncle, now King Claudius (John Myhill), as the ghost of his father had told him and to enact a ‘revenge’.

Hamlet pretends to his girlfriend Ophelia (Amy Whitestone) that he is mad for her love in an attempt to find out the truth of this matter, add to this the confusion caused by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, friends of Hamlet, who are trying to find out if he really is mad or just pretending.

It is all resolved in the end after the mousetrap play within a play is performed and the King’s guilt is revealed plus a couple of deaths and a sword fight between Hamlet and Laertes, Ophelia’s brother.

As the play is subtitled a tragey it doesn’t end happily for everyone but everyone gets their just deserts!

This twenty-five strong cast is led by Tom Morath as Hamlet and the production is costumed in 16c fashion and played on a Elizabethan styled raised apron stage in the open courtyard so that the audience are seated on all three sides of the stage and all close to the action.

Hamlet will be performed every day until Saturday August 4 excluding Sunday July 29 and starts at 7.30pm each evening.

Tickets will be on the door only from 7pm each night. Tickets cost between £6 and £10

As it is an open-air performance audience members should bring something warm to wear. For further information about the show visit www.masquetheatre.co.uk.