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Jonathan Forbes Stars As HAMLET In Shakespeare's Inaugural Production  

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Jonathan Forbes Stars As HAMLET In Shakespeare's Inaugural Production  

Jonathan Forbes, co-star of Amazon's hit British sitcom Catastrophe, which will have its fourth and final season premiere on March 15, also plays the title role in new theater company Shakespeare@'s inaugural production of Hamlet. Set against the stunning architecture of Grace Church Van Vorst (39 Erie Street, Jersey City - a five-minute walk from the Path Train), the production begins performances on Thursday, March 28th.

Hamlet follows Forbes's portrayal of Fergal Morris in Catastrophe opposite Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan. Contrasting his modern witty character in Catastrophe, Forbes portrays a man driven to madness as Hamlet in the production which opens Sunday, March 31st. Directed by Sean Hagerty, Hamlet offers a suspenseful reverence, aided by the masterful storytelling of a cast of veteran and rising stars of stage, television and film. Tickets, priced at $25, are available at shakespeare-at.org.

As Fergal in Amazon's Catastrophe, Forbes portrays the acerbic and dysfunctional brother of Sharon Horgan's character Sharon Morris. He lives in Spain with his wife Mallandra and his three kids and Sharon finds him funny and maddening in equal measures, but Rob Norris hates him. He is the classic unhelpful younger brother who the parents favor.

One of the world's most powerful, frequently interpreted, and oft-quoted dramas, Hamlet illuminates the title character's internal conflict as he navigates life after his father's murder by his uncle, who has usurped the throne. Consumed by visions of his deceased father, Hamlet is driven to madness in his quest for vengeance. Replete with ill-fated romance, bloody battles, and breathtaking soliloquies, it is no surprise that HAMLET remains at the forefront of the theatrical canon over 400 years later.

In addition to Jonathan Forbes (Amazon's Catastrophe, iTV's Fearless, Dublin Murders, Dr. Who) in the title role, Hamlet also stars Eden Brolin (Freeform's Beyond, Lifetime's Manson's Lost Girls, Arkansas opposite Vince Vaughn and John Malkovich) as Ophelia, Andrew Sellon (Gotham) as Polonius, Aria Shahghasemi (CW's Legacies) as Laertes and Mark Torres (Amadeus, NBC's Manifest) as Claudius. Rounding out the cast are Thia Stephan, Francis Mateo, Fernando Hernández, André Revels, Tenzin Yeshi, Mark J. Quiles, Alice Marks, Wesli Spencer, and Robert Steven Anderson.

Inspired by Sean Hagerty's theatre-going experiences in the UK during his artistic training, Shakespeare@ will deliver accessible interpretations of classic works, focusing on diverse dramas with sprawling casts in a new, intimate location for each production. Celebrating Jersey City's distinction as the most diverse city in America, Hagerty intends for all Shakespeare@ audiences "to be able to recognize themselves, their neighborhoods" on the stage, in addition showcasing the beautiful spaces the city has to offer its community.

"Jersey City is a perfect place to offer Shakespeare," says Hagerty. "There's nothing like it here right now. In the past 10 years, there has been so much great change. It's an exciting time to be here." Hagerty believes that the community and artists alike can grow in empathy and humanity by exposure to other ideas and cultures.

One of the world's most powerful, frequently interpreted, and oft-quoted dramas, HAMLET illuminates the title character's internal conflict as he navigates life after his father's murder by his uncle, who has usurped the throne. Consumed by visions of his deceased father, HAMLET is driven to madness in his quest for vengeance. Replete with ill-fated romance, bloody battles, and breathtaking soliloquies, it is no surprise that HAMLET remains at the forefront of the theatrical canon over 400 years later.

Original music for HAMLET is composed by Joan Melton. Lighting design is by Sarah Johnston, with costumes by Anne-Marie Wright and sound design by Donghyuk Chang. Brad Lemons serves as fight director, with Joan Melton as voice & speech coach and casting by Robin Carus. Sydney Steele is the associate producer.

The playing schedule for HAMLET is as follows: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30pm; and Sunday at 7pm. Performances begin March 28, with official opening on March 31 for a limited run through April 14. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at shakespeare-at.org.


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