the tragedie of hamlet

Date: 2008
Posted by: ishakespeare
Credits: Directed by William Mann
Cast: William Mann (Hamlet), Christopher Lynch (Horatio)
Duration: 8.21

The Chamber Shakespeare Company (also known as the ishakespeare company) describes itself as a

not-for-profit artistic collaborative to research and explore the possible application of mythic and symbolic theatre traditions, such as Greek Tragedy, Japanese Noh and Ta’ziyeh, to productions of the work of William Shakespeare.

The Company takes a ‘minimalist’ approach, with an emphasis on bare staging, multi-part casting and ritualistic presentation, with the intention of creating production which are not constrained by social and cultural boundaries.

The Company is in the process of filming its productions, but the sample videos that it has published on YouTube are of a more experimental in kind, constructed as exercises in style. In chamber hamlet I.2 + I.5, Hamlet learning of the ghost’s existence from Horatio is depicted in blurred and grainy close shots, with handheld shots framed as best they can to Hamlet’s face as he moves about the small ‘stage’, Horatio’s calm voice off-camera. The result is intense and not always easy to look at (an entire production filmed this way would be unbearable) or, at times, to hear. But as an attempt to present a mind becoming disordered it is effective, and might be argued to be more successful in depicting a stateless Hamlet than the original staging would have achieved, with all the distracting reality of the ‘theatre’. They have recognised that film changes as it records, and have let the camera dictate the action, with hallucinatory results.

Date: 2008
Posted by: ishakespeare
Credits: Directed by William Mann
Cast: William Mann (Hamlet), Christopher Lynch (Player 1), Hayley Roberts (Player 2)
Duration: 4.11

In this second video extract, chamber hamlet II.2, two players put on a performance for Hamlet of the slaughter of Priam by Pyrrhus during the fall of Troy. The dramatic style is that of Japanese Noh theatre, while the low position of the virtually static camera recalls the methods of film director Yasujirō Ozu (the camera being like an unacknowledged third person seated in a typical Japanese setting). Poor sound recording, however, dims the impact.

See also the Company’s video interpretation of Othello
hamlet I.2 + I.5 YouTube page
hamlet II.2 YouTube page
Chamber Shakespeare Company