New South Wales
It’s the school holidays, and parents everywhere are looking for fun things to do with their families! We sent North Shore Mum KT Jones to The Tragedy of Hamlet: Prince of Skidmark (A Badaptation of the Bard by the Listies – Everest Theatre – Seymore Centre). Here’s her verdict!
I thought I had at least another 5 years to wait before I could start to share my love of Shakespeare with my children – and even then – surely I’d have to start with a whimsical Midsummer Night’s dream – and then ease into the serious and brooding tale of Hamlet later on!
But thanks to Matt Kelly and Richard Higgins- the duo known as The Listies- I had to wait no longer! Coupled on stage with the energetic Courtney Stewart, these three brought to life a hilarious, playful and brilliant adaptation of the classic tragedy. I took Mr 8 and Mr 9 who knew nothing about the story – but were engaged and excited from the minute we entered the Everest Theatre.
Under the direction and creation of Declan Greene the traditional 4-hour play is cleverly reduced to 1 hour of action packed hilarity. As the “real actors” are all wiped out from some dodgy cheese from Aldi – the tale of Hamlet is left to The Listies to retell to the audience.
Higgins assumes the role of Hamlet and is earnest in his desire to honour the classic. Kelly plays the perfect foil to Higgins with his endearing irreverence and contagious sense of fun. Stewart presents a kick arse feminist Ophelia (literally a martial art expert) who has pink hair and refuses to get herself to a nunnery, instead wanting to get her own welder (from Aldi of course) to solve the light rail fiasco.
There is flossing and dabbing as well as references to Star Wars, Minecraft, Snapchat, hashtags and even Trump. There are fart and poo jokes galore which are hysterical for the children and adults alike. There are puns and word trickery as well as loads of audience involvement. The play has not sacrificed sophistication though, as I enjoyed the layering of traditional lines that seemed to carry new context and meaning within this playful and modern perspective.
My kids and I were genuinely laughing out loud, as was the whole audience. It is cleverly written with simultaneous jokes for young and old as well as physical comedy gags that are not clichéd or cringe worthy. The audience was filled with kids of all ages – and I think I could have even taken Mr 5 if he had not been previously engaged.
I highly recommend this as a holiday activity for boys, girls, adult and grandparents alike. Not only was this a wonderful afternoon at the theatre full of laughs, but my kids came away with an extremely positive experience of a Shakespearean classic. Kind of like them eating a big piece of chocolate cake that had loads of zucchini in it – win win for everyone!