|About the play
Music Composition by Michael Workman
Featuring Julia Perkins, James Gill, Kate Reid, Jeremy Mitchell, Marlene O’Dea, Mark Barford and Michael Dornan
This will be a “Moved Reading”, semi-costumed, exploring and celebrating the musicality and inventiveness of Barker’s provocative language. Staging, sparse and stylized movement of bodies in space with bare lighting will accent the dark moral, religious and sexual tensions at the heart of the play."
Howard Barker's play about power, sex, death and moral failings is a murderous and uncompromising tragedy that resists catharsis or moral enlightenment.
Highlighting the sexual nature of the crime at the heart of Shakespeare's Hamlet, Barker turns his unflinching examination of the darkest motivations of human behaviour to the tragic love story of Gertrude and Claudius. In Barker's own words…
"Gertrude is bound to Claudius by an exquisite crime or the play hardly hangs together."
Evocative language, challenging ideas and sly, dark humour create a powerful palimpsest that will confront your perceptions of this familiar text. Barker defends and redefines the character of Gertrude (played by Julia Perkins), showing us that the excessive nature of her immorality bestows a sort of innocence that challenges any simplistic moral judgements.
WARNING: This play contains adult themes, coarse language and nudity. Rated R.