Dominic Hill to Helm HAMLET at the Citizens Theatre
Artistic Director Dominic Hill directs Shakespeare's Hamlet in the headline production of the Citizens Theatre's Autumn 2014 season.
Previewing from 19 September, Hill's production of Shakespeare's brutal and gripping tragedy of a family falling apart under the weight of suspicion, murder, infidelity and grief sees Scottish actor Brian Ferguson take on the seminal role of the young prince. Ferguson is joined by veterans of the Citizens stage and real-life couple Roberta Taylor and Peter Guinness as Gertrude and Claudius.
Hamlet has a long and at times controversial association with the Citizens Theatre. Previous interpretations include a provocative all-male version of the play starring David Hayman in 1970, who returned to the role in 1975; a 1981 production set in a psychiatric hospital; a 1993 studio version starring Lost's Henry Ian Cusick as the Dane and Helen Baxendale as Ophelia and a 1996 production starring Cal MacAninch and Sophie Ward. The play was last performed at the Citizens Theatre in 2007 with Andy Clark as Hamlet.
Hill's Hamlet will be no less innovative, with the director working with designer Tom Piper to create a stripped back, eerie, dilapidated, dream-like world.
Piper is Associate Designer at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Creative Associate with Tricycle Theatre, London. This summer, Piper worked with ceramic artist Paul Cummins to create the striking World War I Memorial installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' at the Tower of London. He has previously designed Hill's productions of The Libertine (2014), Verdi's Macbeth for Scottish Opera (revived 2014) and King Lear (2012) at the Citizens Theatre.
Director Dominic Hill said:
"Hamlet's grief, loss of trust, the complexity of his family relationships and how he negotiates the abrupt changes to his world around him are challenges that contemporary audiences can relate to. Brian Ferguson is a thoughtful and sensitive actor, who I really wanted for this production, which will focus on Hamlet's internal struggles and the domestic drama between two families. Shakespeare at the Citz is always a special event, and I'm looking forward to presenting a production that adds to that rich history."
Ferguson's previous appearances on the Scottish stage include the role of Cammy in the original production of Black Watch and Malcolm in David Greig's Dunsinane. He has previously worked with Hill at the Traverse in Zinnie Harris' Fall and The Dark Things by Ursula Rani Sarma. He appears regularly with the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as in productions by National Theatre, National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Court.
Roberta Taylor was a regular performer at the Citizens Theatre from the early days of her career in the 1970s to the 1990s during the time of the Citizens' triumvirate leadership of Giles Havergal, Robert David MacDonald and Philip Prowse. Appearances during that time include productions of A Waste of Time with Rupert Everett and Gary Oldman, Sweet Bird of Youth and Mother Courage. Taylor has since become a familiar face to audiences for her long-standing TV roles in EastEnders and The Bill. Taylor's husband on stage and in real life, Peter Guinness, is a veteran TV, film, and stage actor whose appearances include blockbuster films Sleepy Hollow, Centurion and Alien 3 as well as BBC's Merlin and the upcoming Sky drama Critical from writer Jed Mercurio.
Adam Best, winner of Best Male Performance at the 2014 Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland for the Citizens' recent production Crime and Punishment joins the cast in the roles of Laertes and Rozencrantz. Music to be performed live on stage by the cast will be created by Nikola Kodjabashia, whose work on Crime and Punishment earned him a 2014 CATS nomination in the Music and Sound category.
The new generation of theatre talent in Scotland will also be making their presence felt in this production. The 2014-15 Citizens Theatre Actor Interns - Cameron Crighton, playing Guildenstern, and Martin Donaghy, playing Horatio - are 2014 graduates of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and will be making their Citizens debuts. Meanwhile, director Dominic Hill will be assisted by Gareth Nicholls, recently appointed as the first Main Stage Director in Residence jointly offered by Citizens Theatre and Stewart Laing's Untitled Projects.
Hamlet will be Hill's second Shakespeare production for the Citizens Theatre since his appointment in Autumn 2011. His first season at the Citizens included a production of King Lear starring David Hayman. Since then, Hill's work at the Citizens has further established his reputation as the leading director of classic texts working in Scotland.
Tickets available from 0141 429 0022 / citz.co.uk