Creation Theatre Company
01865 766266 or at
3rd Floor, Cherwell House, 1-5 London Place, Oxford, OX4 1BD.
Hamlet, 13th July to 13th August 2016
Join us this summer as we set up shop amongst the beautiful 70 acres of riverside parkland that make up University Parks. Our troupe of travelling storytellers will transform the parks into the royal palace of Elsinore, home of Denmark’s young prince, for this unforgettable tale of torment and revenge.
University Parks, Oxford.
For more details
see Creation's web site at www.creationtheatre.co.uk.
Review of Hamlet
13th July to 13th August 2016.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
Dark deeds in the park
Creation Theatre's provocative open air Hamlet
Creation Theatre: Hamlet, at the University Parks, Oxford, from July 13 to August 13
Beyond the cricket pitch and the outdoor tennis courts, at the far end of Oxford's University Parks, Creation Theatre Company have pitched their camper van and created the Danish castle Elsinore on the wide lawns in front of the large pond (designer, Ryan Dawson Laight).
The stage, or rather the lawn, features a dug grave – real earth, real sky above. Even theatregoers unfamiliar with the play will realise it will be filled. Intimations of horror invade the scenes from the start when Matt Easton's scratchy, scary sound effects haunt the battlements where the invisible ghost of Hamlet's father stalks the air.
Director Gari Jones likes his productions vibrant and provocative and thus Hamlet (Christopher York) has his face painted into a skeleton. He has probably been listening to too much Slipknot at university in Wittenberg. His friend Laertes (Gavin Molloy) describes the nihilism of the Danish youngsters as 'youth to itself rebels'. Suitably white-faced and attired like one of the droogs in A Clockwork Orange, Laertes, along with all the young characters, effects a menace that reflects the actual maleficence of the older generation.
Hamlet's girlfriend Ophelia (Natasha Rickman, in her second excellent role with Creation this year after her doubling of Goneril and Regan in King Lear) is a Pre-Raphaelite stunner, clearly a muse like the model from the Millais painting.
When she goes mad the herbs she refers to are seen in her own drawings that she attaches violently to the camper van. Potential mother-in-law Gertrude (Claire Andreadis) and new husband Claudius (Will Norris) are more Royle Family than royal, lounging coarsely on a sofa.
Creation have recently followed a gender-equality in casting. One result is that Clare Humphrey plays Polonius as Ophelia's mother (surely she should be called Polonia?) and indeed, all Humphrey's roles are originally male. She is a natural comic and brings a welcome levity to the production.
The grungy music is effective, although the lift muzak that accompanies key scenes is distracting. With playing time of only two hours, it's a skip through the play but this abridged Hamlet is coherent and entertaining.
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 23rd June to 30th July 2016. See the review in the archive.
King Lear, 12th February to 24th March 2016. See the review in the archive.
Treasure Island, 4th December 2015 to 9th January 2016. There are reviews from the Oxford Times ("tremendous fun with a wicked edge, this scurvy morality tale will leave you reeling – and grinning long after the sea shanties have faded away" 5/5), Daily Info ("another memorable Christmas show... a well put together piece with lots of energy and enthusiasm").
Alice, 18th August to 13th September 2015. See the review in the archive.
As You Like It, 28th July to 12th September 2015. See the review in the archive.
The Wind in the Willows, 5th December 2014 to 10th January 2015. See the review in the archive.
Macbeth, 1st August to 13th September 2014. See the review in the archive.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 6th December 2013 to 4th January 2014. See the review in the archive.
Henry V, 17th August to 14th September 2013. See the review in the archive.
Jekyll & Hyde, 8th June to 6th July 2013. See the review in the archive.
Aladdin and the Magical Lamp, 6th December 2012 to 5th January 2013. See the review in the archive.
The Merchant of Venice, 7th July to 1st September 2012
Richard II, 7th May 2012
The Odyssey, 29th March to 28th April 2012
Hamlet, 5th to 24th March 2012
A Christmas Carol, 8th December 2011 to 7th January 2012. There are reviews in the Oxford Times ("backing up all this ensemble acting is some very strong staging... fine show") and Daily Info ("a flawless performance... one of the most enjoyable shows of this year; don’t miss out on a night full of merriment and Christmas cheer! ").
Antony and Cleopatra, 8th July to 3rd September 2011. See the review in the archive.
King James Bible, 14th May to 11th June 2011 at St Barnabas Church
Dr Faustus, 4th February to 2nd April 2011 at Blackwell's Bookshop
Rapunzel, 26th November 2010 to 15th January 2011. See the review in the archive.
Romeo and Juliet, 19th July to 31st August 2010, at Said Business School Amphitheatre, Oxford
Beauty and the Beast, 27th November 2009 to 16th January 2010. See the review in the archive.
Twelfth Night (July 2009)
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 4th July to 13th September 2008
Othello (April 2009)
Hans Christian Andersen's Magical Tales (December 2008)
Animal Farm, 21st July to 30th August 2008
The Taming of the Shrew, 16th July to 25th August 2007
Hamlet, 1st June to 28th July 2007
Macbeth, 2nd June to 9th September 2006 at Headington Hill Park
Saints and Sinners (June 2008)
Much Ado About Nothing (June 2008)
Measure for Measure (March 2008)
Tales from the Brothers Grimm (November 2007)
The Oxford Passion (August 2007)
Arabian Nights (November 2006)
Robin Hood (July 2006)
The Merchant of Venice (June 2006)
King Lear (February 2006)
The Snow Queen (November 2005)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (July 2005)
The Comedy of Errors (January 2005)
A Christmas Carol (November 2004)
Romeo and Juliet (July 2004)
Much Ado About Nothing (June 2004)
The Winter's Tale (February 2004)
The Tempest (July 2003)
Twelfth Night (June 2003)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (June 2002)
Romeo and Juliet, and As You Like It (July 2001)