Hamnette

by Harry Love
Opening Night 15 November 2001
Director: Harry Love

Out of chaos comes order, at least so we like to think, when as poets we take random lumps of experience and shape them with words into some sort of coherence; when as managers we take scruffy little units of productivity and mould them into teams of efficiency and corporate loyalty; when as politicians we strive to fit the inner vision on the outer scene by lopping off the awkward bits of the latter. But such idealism is subject to crude reality, to the incapacity of a changeable and definitely not ideal world to cope with perfection.
So, when James Joyce, who was crammed full of ideas, put 1+2+3 together he guessed that they did not really add up because, when all is said and done, in Hamlet, the very work of art that purports to conjoin the artist (Hamlet – remember, he never actually does anything), the manager (Polonius, Colin to his friends, who is obsessed with systems) and the politician (Claudius, who has a penchant for poison and other people’s property) into a sweet and satisfying completeness, something smelt very wrong. Like that sentence, it just went on too long.
To cut a long story short, it was stolen property, bereft of its essential integrity, wholeness, symmetry, radiance and that little moment of blinding light. Art tainted with politics. So your man steps in, personally, in an attempt to reassert the primacy and integrity of the artistic process by reconstituting the identity of Hamlet (Shakespeare’s spiritual son) into its proper shape as Hamnette (his wife’s spiritual daughter) and to discover whether the principle that determines its shape is comic or tragic. With art, you see, as with management and politics, you never know until the end of the story whether to laugh or cry.
We have, then, epic conflicts that resound through every degree of concreteness and abstraction: mother and daughter, husband and wife, innocence and corruption, justice and ambition, order and accident, art and politics.

Cast

Hamnette Emily Duncan 
Gertrude Ruth Wheeler 
2nd Devil, Ophelia, Tony, Justine Pierre 
Old Hamlet, 1st Devil, Fa Geoff Lambourne 
Dr Blossom, Charles Geoff Lambourne 
Claudius Chris Horlock 
Joyce, Rosenstern Andrew Patterson 
2nd Sentry, Emmanuel Jessica Little 
Ernest Harry Love 
Dream Devils Abby Aitken 
  Eve Aitken 
  Megan Findlay 
  Winnie Nichol 

Crew

Stage Manager Joe Spencer 
Set Construction/Properti Andrew Cook 
Costumes Roz McKechnie 
Lighting Ben Vickers 
  Lyndon Hood 
Sound Maeve Lonie 
Incidental Keyboard Music Brian Beresford 
Front of House Alison Finigan 
Poster Design Martin Fisher 
Slides Jill Davidson 
Video Jayashree Panjabi 
  Hayley Lye 
  Wayne Chettleburgh 
  Caleb Thomson 
  Rhys Walker 
Babysitting Catherine Madill 

Hosted by Friends of the Globe Theatre Incorporated