The Hamlet Voyage
Coming Summer 2022 - First Workshop Summer 2021
The Hamlet Voyage is a new play about the first recorded performance of Hamlet, which was acted by sailors in 1607 off the coast of Sierra Leone for local West African dignitaries, on the first English voyage to reach India.
The play will examine this cross-cultural encounter that took place before England became deeply involved in the Atlantic slave trade, before the age of British imperialism, and before Shakespeare became a global name. Together with the audience, we will imagine how history might have turned out differently and where we go from here.
Writer Rex Obano (top left) regales the team with the plot of "The Hamlet Voyage"
We have assembled an international and multicultural team:
-Playwright Rex Obano, who has written extensively on the hidden histories of early-modern England and Black British historical drama
-Puppetry Director Anurupa Roy, whose work has explored traditional Indian shadow puppetry and Mughal history in performances in Delhi and across the world
-Director Ben Prusiner, who founded Re:Verse Theatre 10 years ago to produce plays of heightened language with a positive social impact
-Professor Joseph Bangura, who is an expert on, and member of, the Temne ethnic group, who were among the original audience for Hamlet
-Doctor Laurence Publicover, who teaches Shakespeare and Oceanic studies at Bristol University
-Producer Pamela Schermann, who has produced classical and modern theatre productions across London and Europe.
We will perform on a replica sailing ship, The Matthew, in July 2022, the 415th anniversary of the original Hamlet performance. From there, we will transfer to the replica of Sir Francis Drake's ship The Golden Hinde in London, as well as select indoor venues.
Extra Special Thanks
to all our supporters including
David Alvarado, Michael Baird, Bob Barker, Anne Born, Kerreen Brandt, Alex Carpenter, Peter Charlton, Margie Cleland, Claire Coast-Smith, Julie Edwards, Mic Errington, Scott Farber, Jeannine Farr, Sherwyn Fullington, Caroline Gabriel, Celia Gilbert, Ian Giles, Frances Gray, A.R. Greenway, Melissa House, Raveem Ismail, Will Jelliffe, Annette Johnson, Peter Jolly, Peter Jones, Miranda Kaufmann, Allen Kennedy, Daniel Leroux, Victor Lirio, Nicole Melendez, Lauren Melnick, Caroline Mozley, Michael Ohajuru, Howard Owens, Jim & Gayle Pfeil, Dyan Pike, Lauren Prusiner & Vincent Fish, Paul & Christine Prusiner, Sandra Prusiner, Gerit Quealy, Julianne Rhoads, Eric Ringold, Robin Warner Stanwell Roads, Dory Schultz, Elly Shepherd, Jaspreet Singh, Barbara Sippel, David Sippel, Lindsay Tanner, Benjamin Thapa, Jeannine Thurston, Ernest Wayne Torigoe, Lee & Melinda Varian, Jac Wynn
and all our Anonymous donors...