Cross Gender Casting in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Cross Gender Casting in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

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image2Thinking back to the blog a few days back where I mentioned Signourney Weaver being cast in a man’s role in Alien brought back a bit of controversial Shakespeare casting where I committed supposedly heinous crimes by putting women in men’s roles! I suppose though the fact that it was Shakespeare and I took quite a few other liberties probably helped – people tend to have very fixed ideas about how Shakespeare should be! Did win a couple of awards though.

In my version of Hamlet I cast Horatio as a woman, which I think worked well as there was an unrequited love element going on all along, which you don’t get if it’s just that he’s Hamlet’s rather we best friend, and I also (blasphemy!) made Ophelia’s dad Polonius into a femme fatale elder sister who feeds Ophelia with drugs! (played by Lydia Piechowiak) Lot of people didn’t feel it worked but as much anything it makes much more sense that when Polonia dies Ophelia goes off the rails (never made much sense to me that when daddy dies Ophelia goes mad – I mean come on get real!)

Funnily enough it even fitted with the script with lines like “she clutches madly at straws” filled nicely with someone madly hunting for needles and I opened the film with her death where she believes shes found drugs but in fact she’s being brainwashed by the Ghost and though she thinks she’s hitting up she’s actually in a bathtub and can’t understand why she’s drowning.

All in Shakespearean text too!



HamletAm aiming to get it onto Amazon Video Direct some time after Christmas (going through all the fun and games of getting it there at the moment – see my article on launching onto Amazon Video) meantime though it’s available on Amazon in DVD format.

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