Bold African take on Shakespeare

ZIMBABWE and Shakespeare may at first glance not appear to make for good bedfellows.

But an audacious two-man take one of his most famous plays is coming to Eathorpe this weekend.

Kupenga Kwa Hamlet (The Madness of Hamlet) by Two Gents Productions, with support from Live and Local, will arrive at the village hall tomorrow (Saturday) at 8pm.

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Set in the twilight of a pre-colonial Zimbabwe, the play enters a world of unyielding beliefs and ritual, where the afterlife and present co-exist.

Hamlet confronts madness and reason when he returns home to find his father murdered, his mother incoherent and a new, dangerous chief in power.

Two actors, two props and the convergence of two cultures take to a bare stage, with bold Zimbabwean traditional movement and song. The audacious performers tear down and rebuild the Shakespearean tragedy, creating a complete reimagining of the classic tale.

The unusual production has received acclaim from the Harare International Festival in Zimbabwe, the Oval House Theatre in London and the Shakespeare Festival in Gdansk, Poland.

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David French, who runs Eathorpe village hall bar, said: “Apparently it includes clowning and even a bit of audience participation in panto style, and someone at the Oval House in London described it as the best version of Hamlet they’d ever seen. So we’re expecting great things.”

Tickets, which cost £8 (£6.50) are available from Sue on 632575 or Pauline on 632242 or email [email protected]