Women rule in reverse gender Hamlet

Hey there – finally got to see Socratic Theatre’s production of Hamlet last night, featuring Alum gals Laura Vincent (see photo) and Dinah Watts. And several other Alum gals were there in the audience as well: Tricia Brioux, Sandra Burley, Barbara Haber, PJ Hammond, Seema Lakhani and Tabitha Keast, as well as You Are Here actor Michael Vitorovitch.

It’s always interesting to see gender reversal in a play like Hamlet. Sarah Bernhardt and Diane Venora have played Hamlet, but as female actors playing a man. I also saw an updated, partially reverse gender production a year or two ago – where only Hamlet, Ophelia, Horatio and Laertes were reverse gender cast – but to see a fully reverse gender production was really interesting. One thing that struck me was that, as the women were holding the power positions in this case, other aspects of social hierarchy became highlighted: rank, class and parental power, for instance.

It was also remarkable to see that, although every part had been reverse gender cast, almost every character’s original gender was apparent in the performances. As Laura mentioned in speaking about her experience with the play/the part, it was a challenge to get the original pronouns – and social behaviours – out of one’s head. And these actors did an admirable job.

Nice work all around, with stand-out performances from Kiersten Tough (Claudius), Laura Vincent (Hamlet) and Dinah Watts (Polonius).

Hamlet has three more performances and closes on Sat, November 6. For more info, visit the Socratic Theatre Facebook page or visit their website: www.socratictheatre.com

p.s. – in other Alum news, the Hedda Gabler page on this blog site now includes the press release text.


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