Making of Hamlet Part Three: Preview Night

Sep 07, 2016

Part One // Part Two

This was the hot summer night when everything came together for the Honest Pint Theatre Company’s Hamlet.   The coffin was put in place, food set out, last minute tweaks made all around, and friends and family gathered for the first full performance. Due to some scheduling conflicts, I totally missed a week or two of rehearsal, so this was my first time seeing the (super cool) set and the play with all of the lighting and effects. It was so easy to get caught up in the play, and watching all the work of people I have now come to think of as friends, I had to keep reminding myself to focus on the task at hand! For those of you who haven’t dusted off Shakespeare since your high school days, Hamlet is the tale of a son whose father (the king of Denmark) has died suddenly. Hamlet suspects that the death was at the hands of his uncle, who married the queen (Hamlet’s mother) shortly afterwards, and his suspicions are confirmed by the ghost of his father.  He then struggles with the need to avenge his fathers death, his own madness (or is he feigning madness?), and the relationship with his mother. This is a gross oversimplification, if you’d like to learn more, go watch the play. :)

Up at the stage manager's perch.

What art thou that usurp'st this time of night,
Together with that fair and warlike form
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak!

...married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married.

My excellent good friends! How dost thou,
Guildenstern? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye both?

One of the neat things this production did was to feature music at the beginning, end, and each intermission of the show. 

Another unique aspect of this production was that they placed the audience right up with the actors, in an effort to get a Globe-like feel and to engage with the audience. I can attest to the fact it makes you sit up and lean in to catch every word.

There is a play to-night before the king;
One scene of it comes near the circumstance
Which I have told thee of my father's death...

Mother, you have my father much offended...

Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge;
You go not till I set you up a glass
Where you may see the inmost part of you.

How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more...

Sam nailing Fun's Carry On at intermission.

Aaron, fearless musical leader amongst other things, and George, who used the play as an excuse to learn electric bass (how cool is that?).

Poor Ophelia,
Divided from herself and her fair judgment,
Without the which we are pictures, or mere beasts...

Laertes: 

Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit!
I dare damnation. To this point I stand,
That both the worlds I give to negligence,
Let come what comes; only I'll be revenged
Most thoroughly for my father.

Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia!
O heavens! is't possible, a young maid's wits
Should be as mortal as an old man's life?

[Ophelia's] clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up...

Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.

This same skull, sir, was Yorkick's skull, the king's jester.

I'll touch my point
With this contagion, that, if I gall him slightly,
It may be death.

Gertrude, do not drink!...It is the poison'd cup: it is too late.

Translation: Claudius messed up big, and has now accidentally poisoned his own wife. 

I am dead, Horatio. Wretched queen, adieu!

Horatio, I am dead;
Thou livest; report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.

Many thanks to Honest Pint Theatre Company for letting me jump into your process. Keep drinking deep, you guys!