Banged up with Hamlet at the Riverside Studios


The Riverside Studios is set to stage a violent, moody and modern interpretation of Shakesapeare’s ultimate story of revenge, Hamlet, opening May 28.

Forget the parapets of Denmark. Hiraeth Artistic Productions’s treatment is set in G Wing of Her Majesty’s Prison Liverpool.

Hamlet is incarcerated. His father has been murdered and The croaking raven doth bellow for revenge ….

This is a visceral and unflinching exploration of isolation, paranoia and revenge.

Hamlet is the son of the city’s most infamous crime lord. Locked up in Her Majesty’s Prison Liverpool, he learns of his father’s murder, his mother’s marriage, and his uncle’s treacherous role in both.

But how do you get revenge in the custody of corruption and the company of snitches?

Cut to just over two hours long, Hamlet will be an unstoppable and violent modern thriller: the Bard behind bars.

Hamlet will be the penultimate theatrical production at the Hammersmith venue before its two-year closure for expansion and refurbishment.

It promises to take a fresh, bold and exhilarating look at one of literature’s most celebrated plays.

Adam Lawrence (Hamlet) has just finished filming the new series of Peaky Blinders for the BBC while Nathan Whitfield (Guildenstern) will be drawing on his own experiences in a young offender’s institution when he was 18 for the role.

He went on to train at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and now, in one of his first roles since graduating, is returning to West London to play an inmate.

Jessica White (Ophelia) is one of the country’s leading motion capture artists, and an expert in stage combat.

Her Ophelia, a nurse at the prison, is not a passive victim but a strong empowered woman able to hold her own in the predominately male prison environment.

Gertrude is now to be played by Joyce Greenaway in a change from the original casting of Collette Cooper.

Hamlet runs from May 28-June 22.

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