Shakespeare/Video Game Parody Reloaded at The Court Theatre

Shakespeare/Video Game Parody Reloaded at The Court Theatre

Ready player one? Hamlet: The Video Game (the stage show) is reloaded and powered up for an explosive return season at The Forge at The Court Theatre this June.

The remastered classic is a comedic mash-up of genres stuffed full of references and jokes for both gamers and Shakespeare buffs. The show reimagines the theatrical masterpiece Hamlet as if it had been turned into an A-list video game, with the Prince of Denmark's introspective soliloquies blended with mortal combat, zombies and a final boss battle.

Hamlet: The Video Game (the stage show) is the brainchild of former Court Jester and now Montreal-based video game director, Simon Peacock (Voice Director of Assassin's Creed; Voice & Motion Capture Director of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided). Commissioned for the 2015 Christchurch Arts Festival, the production scored highly with audiences in its debut season and was swiftly programmed for a replay in The Forge.

Original cast members Dan Bain, Kathleen Burns and Jared Corbin, all members of The Court Theatre's entertainment troupe The Court Jesters, reprise their roles in the production. "The first season was like 'beta testing' a new video game," says Bain, who is relishing his second playthrough as Hamlet. "From people's reactions we could take what worked, get rid of what didn't and hone it into a faster, funnier show. It's taken it to another level."

Gregory Cooper, a former Court Jester, prolific performer and successful playwright, is enjoying directing the new season. "I'm not sure I'll ever get the chance again to direct a version of Hamlet with thirty Nerf guns, confetti blood and audience-operated Angry Birds, so I'm making the most of it. This reboot will be faster, funnier, more frenetic and guaranteed glitch-free."

"This play is treat for theatre lovers who can be captivated by its theatricality but also appeals to those who may well have never been near a theatre before," says The Court Theatre's Artistic Director, Ross Gumbley. "It has something for everyone. It's a delight for all."

Hamlet: The Video Game (the stage show) uses quick-change costumes designed by Nicholas Wakerley that allow the actors to play a multitude of roles; a game-inspired set designed by Rob Hood; and a plethora of weaponry constructed by The Court's props team. In true video game style, the production also incorporates numerous audio visual elements created by Andrew Todd, who designed AV for the original season. "We've embraced the multimedia nature of the show and use it to add extra jokes and enhance the performances" says Todd.

Hamlet: The Video Game (the stage show) opens at The Forge on June 3 and runs until June 24, with plans to take the production further afield. Audience members are encouraged to visit The Court Theatre and insert coins to play.

For bookings and more information, phone 03 963 0870 or visit www.courttheatre.org.nz.

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