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Fewer Shakespearean characters have caused as much uncertainty as Hamlet's mother, Gertrude: a side-lined female in a canonical story; a shadowy icon of mid-life sexuality; a fearless woman whose power was consistently undermined by the men around her. 400 years since Hamlet was written, storyteller and Shakespeare's Globe consultant Debs Newbold imagines what her story would have been and asks what - if anything - has changed since her creation.

Welcome to purgatory. Where everything we know about Gertrude is torn apart, reimagined and reclaimed by one woman and a jazz drummer in a funny and fierce act of rebellion. There'll be tea. There'll be a visit from Joan of Arc. There will be noise. Outrageous Fortune is a new piece of theatre inspired by Shakespeare's Hamlet. Told through the eyes of his mother, Gertrude -whose character is typically side-lined in traditional stagings of the work - this original parallel narrative is a bold exploration of femininity, power and sexuality and will demand answers that take us beyond Hamlet as we know it.

In collaboration with internationally renowned director/clowning expert John Wright (Told by an Idiot) and music producer, DJ and experimental kit drummer Luke Harney, Artist Debs Newbold will explore all of this and more using original narrative, Shakespearean verse, bold physicality and thunderous sound - with live jazz drums providing a Birdman-inspired underscore.

Speaking about the show Debs Newbold says "Gertrude would have loved the chance to tell her story. In Hamlet, Shakespeare hardly lets her speak. Well now, she'll have me. And a drum kit. So, she can make as much noise as she likes."

Debs Newbold is one of the UK's leading performance storytellers, creating fresh, playful work that can get deep under the skin. Her charisma and innovation has seen her work with prestigious venues such as the Royal Opera House, the Southbank Centre and Shakespeare's Globe among many other theatres and festivals both in the UK and internationally. Debs' previous shows include King Lear Retold, Macbeth Retold, Romeo and Juliet Retold, Under Her Skin and Lost in Blue.

Square Chapel is an arts centre in the heart of Halifax providing a platform for a diverse range of high-quality live performance, events and film, alongside talent development for emerging artists and creatives and an extensive community outreach and education programme. In 2017, along with the opening of its stunning new building, Square Chapel began producing and co-producing new work and adaptations. Co-producing credits include Adam Robinson's Shivers, Guild of Misrule & Theatr Clwyd's The Great Gatbsy, Knaïve Theatre's War With the Newts, and The Book of Darkness & Light's Upon the Stair. Producing credits include Andrea Dunbar's Shirley and Lucy Kirkwood & Katie Mitchell's Beauty and the Beast. Square Route is Square Chapel's talent development programme, providing opportunities and support for artists, companies and creatives at various stages of their career, based in West Yorkshire and beyond.

Tour Dates

25 - 26 Mar Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax

Square Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1QG

8pm | £13 (£11 concs) | 01422 349 422

31 Mar Cornerstone, Didcot, Oxfordshire

25 Station Road, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 7NE

7.30pm | £12.50 | 01235 515144

2 Apr CAST Doncaster

Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU

7.15pm | £12.50 | 01302 303 959

3 - 4 Apr Harrogate Theatre

6 Oxford St, Harrogate HG1 1QF

7.45pm | £14 | 01423 502 116

14 - 18 Apr The Lion & Unicorn Theatre, London

42-44 Gaisford St, Kentish Town, London NW5 2ED

7.30pm | £12 (£10 conc)

30 Apr - 2 May Salisbury Playhouse

Malthouse Lane, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP2 7RA

7.45pm | Tickets £13.50 | 01722 320 333

5 May Capstone Theatre, Liverpool

Shaw Street, Liverpool L6 1HP

7.30pm | £10 | 0844 8000410

6 May EnableUs, Sheffield

Shearwood Road, Sheffield S10 2TD

8pm | £13 | 0114 222 8888

7 May Waterside Arts, Sale

1 Waterside, Sale M33 7ZF

8pm | £12 | 0161 912 5616

8 May The Dukes, Lancaster

Moor Lane Lancaster LA1 1QE

7.30pm | £12 | 01524 598500

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