Here’s a little bit about our superb cast for Hamlet and why we are delighted to be working with them.
Hamlet - Daniel Wilby
Dan was an electrifying Ariel in last year’s The Tempest, casting spells with the click of his fingers and causing all kinds of mayhem. Mid to late twenties he is a good age for Hamlet – young enough to be the student and with enough training and experience to take on the demanding role. With mesmerising blue eyes and a trippingly light and powerful voice Dan is a quick thinker and can carry the paradoxes of Hamlet’s situation – youth and experience, madness and sanity, real and invented, to be or not to be!
Polonius – Ewan Gibb
Ewan impressed us in The Tempest. He really captured the sincerity and absurdity of Gonzalo’s perspective on the island and his relationships with the other stranded nobles. He also looked fine in a kilt. As Polonius it is unlikely his legs will be on show, but we know that excellent characterisation and observation will be. Ewan connects on stage and you know he is fully in character and engaged with the other actors.
Claudius – Peter Gillham
Peter is almost reaching Rooftop maturity with Hamlet as his third production. He has vocal and physical power which he can project, either with stillness, a look and inflection, or through brute grappling - ustilising correct stage combat techniques of course! He can offer a steely, menacing edge which he honed in a earlier City career. In reality he is a great companion with a joy for life.
Gertrude – Liz Howard
Liz has masses to give and just manages to keep it all in - as a teacher she has to maintain a level of decorum! We are excited to be working with her as Gertrude and nurturing that fragile strength and and towering vulnerability, bringing it through the character’s conflicting impulses to her son and new husband. With two of her own real sons, Liz will have a rich emotional resources to draw on.
Laertes – Morgan Rees-Davies
Now on his fourth Rooftop production, Morgan is almost a veteran of the company! In contrast to his magisterial Prospero he’ll be bringing out his younger side for Laertes. He is a versatile and committed performer and a significant presence on stage. He brings a feeling of excited anticipation to actors and audience members - because everyone knows they are in the hands of a professional.
Horatio - Ian Seddon
Ian wowed and freaked everbody last year with his extrordinary Caliban and the absolute commitment he put into the part. With a completely authentic approach to acting and a wide open mind, he just goes for it. His Horatio will be a throughly believable character with real conflicts and will be more resonant than the part normally is. Ian is a pleasure to work with and thoroughly modest about his abilities, so please don’t tell him.
Ophelia – Poppy Wilde
Poppy is a new to us, though she has seen several of our productions and likes our style. She is sharp and energetic with a presence that will add more colour and life to Ophelia than is often allowed in productions. Her voice is strong and she will be able to flit between the states of love, bemusement, frustration, anger, grief and madness with the reality and alacrity of the real and complex person Ophelia should be.
Narrator – Skye Witney
Skye is new too and we’re delighted to be working with her for the first time. She has the pleasure of working alongside directors Simon & Paul as the trio of medics and mortuary attendants. She clinched it with Nurse from Romeo & Juliet in her audition and by seeming very curious and open minded - ideal for Rooftop!
Director/producer/narrator - Simon Bolton & Paul Sayers
Playing Trinculo and Stephano in The Tempest last year was such a blast - stealing those scenes and working with the wonderful characters and relationship. We’re looking forward to bringing our excellend Hamlet cast together and being in charge of and part of another production!
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