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A grunge ‘Hamlet’ on tap for theatrical group
by Joan Durbin
September 12, 2012 06:19 PM | 3692 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The angst-filled world of grunge and the similarly anxiety-ridden life of Shakespeare’s most famous character will blend into what promises to be a memorable evening of theatre when Barrington Hall hosts productions of “Hamlet” Sept. 21 through Oct. 6.

Melding the story of the melancholy Dane with Seattle’s grunge scene seems perfectly natural for the creative minds of North Fulton Drama Club.

For several years the adventurous theatrical troupe has presented several Shakespearean classics but set them in other eras and cultural movements.

The idea to juxtapose Hamlet with grunge started with a backstage comment a few years ago, said the company’s artistic director and board president Thomas Strickland.

At first, he dismissed it. But the more he considered it, the better he liked the concept.

“We set it around 1994, which is when grunge was at its apex and when I first graduated from college and the weight of the world was on my shoulders,” Strickland said. “I had a degree in English and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life now that I was out on my own. I see a connection to Hamlet’s situation.”

Hamlet is college-educated but called to return home, where his father is dead and his mother has remarried and he and the new king are at odds.

“All of that potential, all those possibilities that he had, are subject to a higher calling, and that is to make things right,” Strickland said. “And I think there’s something to that because the grunge generation, Generation X, wanted to make things better than they were before. The ‘80s were a great time to be a kid, but a few years later we all had to decide what we were going to do with the world we inherited. So did Hamlet.”

The show, which is staged outdoors on the grounds of Roswell’s historic Barrington Hall, will be one of the simplest the drama club has ever done in terms of costumes and set, Strickland said. The cast has 11 members, each playing multiple roles.

Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., with a 4 p.m. matinee Sept. 30. General admission is free, but there is a suggested donation of $5.

Reserved seating at tables will be available for this show for a fee. Tables seat six and come with tablecloth and candle.

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