Preview night. This was the hot summer night when everything came together for the Honest Pint Theatre Company’s Hamlet. The coffin was put in place, food set out, last minute tweaks were made all around, and friends and family gathered for the first full performance. Due to some scheduling conflicts, I totally missed a week or two of rehearsal, so this was my first time seeing the (super cool) set and the play with all of the lighting and effects. It was so easy to get caught up in the play, and watching all the work of people I have now come to think of as friends, I had to keep reminding myself to focus on the task at hand!
All in readiness up in the stage manager’s perch.
The coffin, which was placed in the lobby as if for a wake and then marched in at the beginning of the first act. All of this gave the audience a sense of immediacy, that the king had died that very week, that we ourselves had attended his funeral.
What art thou that usurp’st this time of night,
Together with that fair and warlike form
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak!
…married with my uncle,
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
My excellent good friends! How dost thou,
Guildenstern? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye both?
Music featured during and after each intermission kept things lively. In addition to live music, Honest Pint used food and drinks and bringing the audience directly next to the stage to contribute to a Globe-inspired atmosphere.
There is a play to-night before the king;
One scene of it comes near the circumstance
Which I have told thee of my father’s death…
Mother, you have my father much offended…
Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge;
You go not till I set you up a glass
Where you may see the inmost part of you.
How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more…
Divided from herself and her fair judgment,
Without the which we are pictures, or mere beasts…
Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit!
I dare damnation. To this point I stand,
That both the worlds I give to negligence,
Let come what comes; only I’ll be revenged
Most thoroughly for my father.
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia!
O heavens! is’t possible, a young maid’s wits
Should be as mortal as an old man’s life?
[Ophelia’s] clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up…
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.
This same skull, sir, was Yorick’s skull, the king’s jester.
I’ll touch my point
With this contagion, that, if I gall him slightly,
It may be death.
Gertrude, do not drink!…It is the poison’d cup: it is too late.
I am dead, Horatio. Wretched queen, adieu!
Horatio, I am dead;
Thou livest; report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.
Well, that’s it for my series! If you’re interested in following along the adventures of a Shakespeare enthusiast photographer, hop on over to my site, or say hello via Instagram. I’m always happy to make a new Bard-loving friend!
Many thanks to the Honest Pint Theatre Company for letting me jump into your process. Keep drinking deep, you guys!