The Hamlet Voyage on The Matthew at Bristol Harbour Festival
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The Matthew is partnering up with Re:Verse Theatre at Bristol Harbour Festival on 16 and 17 July for the world premiere of their production of The Hamlet Voyage, a new play about the first record of Shakespeare being performed outside of Europe. This was a production of Hamlet, performed in 1607 by sailors off the coast of Sierra Leone for local West African dignitaries, on the first English voyage to reach India.
The Hamlet Voyage is a theatrical critique of the very beginnings of British colonial ambitions. Drawing on classical performance across three continents – from Shakespeare and sea shanties to West African storytelling and drumming to South Asian music and puppetry – Re:Verse Theatre examines the 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.
The Matthew will be docked at Underfall Yard for the festival – The Hamlet Voyage will be performed on board twice each day, at 12:00pm and 4:30pm. It is free to watch and there will be seats both on the ship and the shore, available on a first-come-first-served basis. There will also be West African drumming, dancing and storytelling workshops in between performances on both days.
Please note: This event will take place entirely outdoors. In the case of inclement weather, performances may be delayed, modified or cancelled.
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