Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. So too is Hamlet. Watch your back, Horatio. Fortinbras is the new Prince of Denmark.
This is the conceit of Paul Gilchrist’s Appropriation, a swirling dervish sequel to Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Appropriation begins, appropriately, with the end of Hamlet, a sword fight in a space barely big enough to swing a cat let alone a cutlass. Gilchrist’s Fortinbras is a foul mouthed fornicator, all balls and no brains, who believes actions speaker louder than words.
Hotter in head than Hotspur and more impetuous, Fortinbras is a testosterone fuelled fool, incapable of strategy and alienating of cohorts and constituents, especially females. His iron will is riddled with the rust of lust.
He has scant regard for wife or mistress, with him it’s either Norway or No Way. He scoffs at the idea of Scandinavia, as, in this play, many a Norwegian would.
Nick O’Regan plays him full of seething brio – a bovver boy bang compared to the whimpering, long winded, Wittenberg drab grad, Hamlet. His physical bombastics are matched with verbal bombs of bullying and base inelegance.
In contrast, his wife, a trophy plunder from his triumphant Polish campaign, tries to woo the warrior into using words as weapons. In Sonya Kerr’s commanding delivery, the words wielded are cutting and hurtful and wounding.
In Shakespeare's play, Hamlet admired Fortinbras for his strong hand. But in Appropriation, Gilchrist adds Fortinbras to the litany of those that caused Hamlet’s progressive disillusionment with humanity.
Philosophical and funny, educated and erudite, Appropriation is a robust homage to that great appropriator of stories, William Shakespeare, performed at height, the pith and marrow of the attribute realised by director Chris Huntly-Turner and his twelve ensemble.
Fledgling Theatre Company presents
by Paul Gilchrist
Director Chris Huntly-Turner
Venue: Studio Blueprint
| Level 4, 402/11 Randle Street, Surry Hills NSW
Dates: 17 – 27 Apr 2019
Tickets: $25 – $30