Hamlet comes to BBC Two

We are delighted to learn of the planned screening of Robert Icke’s Hamlet on BBC Two in 2018. As huge fans of Robert Icke‘s work and of this production, the screening – commissioned by Patrick Holland (Controller, BBC Two) and Emma Cahusac (Commissioning Editor) – gets two thumbs up from all of us at Oberon HQ. It’s always wonderful to see any steps taken to make great theatre more accessible for everyone, and this decision means people can now watch a stunning modern production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet from the comfort of home, wherever they are in the country!

This production – which transferred to the West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre after its sell-out run at the Almeida earlier this year – stars Sherlock‘s Andrew Scott as Hamlet, Angus Wright as Claudius, Jessica Brown Findlay as the tragic Ophelia and Juliet Stevenson as Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude. It has also cast Guildenstern as a woman (Madeline Appiah) which adds a new and really interesting dimension to Hamlet’s relationship with Guildenstern.

Robert Icke’s modern take remains faithful to the original Shakespearean text, but somehow manages to feel fresh, relatable and up-to-date. It has received unanimous praise, being called ‘thrilling’ (The Stage), ‘rich and beautiful’ (Evening Standard) and ‘masterly’ (Variety). You can read more reviews here.

Another exciting aspect of this TV adaptation is the potential for it to be used in classrooms, alongside the text, to help students appreciate and engage with the play. Reading a Shakespeare play on the page just cannot be compared with hearing and seeing it performed in real time, in terms of understanding the language and the characters. With such a star-studded cast, and a modern Danish setting, this is sure to be a popular choice for English and drama teachers and their pupils.

You can learn more about Robert Icke’s Hamlet, and buy your own copy HERE

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New Awards, Nominations and Prizes

The winners of the 2016 Critic’s Circle Theatre Awards were announced on Tuesday 26th January at a ceremony held at the Prince of Wales Theatre in the West End.

Here at Oberon Books we were delighted to see so many of our wonderfully talented writers and their colleagues represented among the nominees and winners of the evening. 

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Best Actress was given to Denise Gough for her incredible performace as ‘Emma’ in Duncan Macmillan‘s play about recovering addicts People, Places and Things. Denise said of its success; “I’m under no illusion: our play is transferring because of our amazing reviews as well as word of mouth. I’m very grateful for what it means for this play.”
The West End transfer of People, Places and Things is running at the Wyndham’s Theatre from 15th March – 4th June 2016.

Robert Icke was awarded Best Director for his epic 3 hour 40 minute adaptation of Oresteia, which was part of the Almeida Greek season, before transferring to Trafalgar studios.

The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer went to David Moorst, for his portrayal of 17 year-old Liam in Gary Owen‘s play Violence and Son. Moorst also took home the Emerging Talent awards at the 2015 London Evening Standard Awards – clearly one to watch!

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Elsewhere, The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has also announced the finalists for its 2015–16 playwriting award, the oldest and largest prize given to female playwrights.

The ten finalists – narrowed down from over 150 – include Rachel Cusk for Medea, and fellow Oberon playwright Dominique Morisseau for Skeleton Crew. We’ll have our fingers firmly crossed for these two talented women! The winner will be announced at the Awards Presentation on 22nd February at the National Theatre in London.

The Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2015

Two Oberon authors were amongst the big winners at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards on Sunday night.

9781783198085American Stephen Adly Guirgis took the prize for Best New Play, for his frenetic and foul-mouthed comedy The Motherfucker with the Hat.

Directed by Indhu Rubasingham, it was the only winning production to come from the National Theatre despite their seven nominations.

9781783199006Almeida Associate Director Robert Icke was named Best Director for his refreshingly modern take on the Oresteia. Originally part of the Almeida Greek season it subsequently transferred to Trafalgar Studios.

9781783199358Nicole Kidman brought a touch of Hollywood glamour, as she was recognised for her much-celebrated return to the stage. She claimed the Best Actress Award for her portrayal of pioneering DNA scientist Rosalind Franklin, in Anna Ziegler’s Photograph 51 at the Noël Coward Theatre.

9781783198931At the opposite end of the career spectrum, newcomer David Moorst took home the Emerging Talent Award for his performance as the troubled teen Liam in Gary Owen’s Violence and Son, at the Royal Court.