In 2023, one of Shakespeare’s best-known and most regularly revisited tragedies will embark on a new and radical transformation. Lazarus Theatre Company will champion exciting young talent, many making their debuts, in this raucous rendition at Southwark Playhouse.
Thrown into an urban community of lost teenagers and leading this gripping ensemble, Michael Hawkey makes his professional debut as the tormented prince Hamlet, alongside Lexine Lee as the fated Ophelia, also making her professional debut. This classic tale, with its violent twists of physical and mental intensity, archaic script and intricate personalities, is reworked into a strikingly unpredictable, visceral and contemporary show this Winter.
Reflecting this fresh production of Hamlet, the ensemble is joined by Juan Hernandez, newly-graduated from ALRA, and Amber Mendez-Martin, who is currently training at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and will be partnering with Raj Swamy (Billionaire Boy, Garrick Theatre; Red Joan, Trevor Nunn) to bring Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to life. Depicting the one omnipresent adult figure will be Micha Colombo (The Tempest, Greenwich Theatre; Mother, Blood Wedding, UK Tour), with Alex Zur (Macbeth, Young Shakespeare Company; Cucumber, Channel 4), Sam Morris (Lohengrin, Royal Opera House; Christopher – Solo Show, The Pleasance/ Cambridge International Arts Festival/ Theatre Deli) and Kalifa Taylor (Look Who’s All Grown Up, The Space Theatre; Tomb King, The League of Adventure) completing the dynamic cast set to reframe the classic tale.
For audiences who think they know Hamlet, this cast of young talent will inject an enticing, raw, and gutsy interpretation into one of the most iconic Shakespeare plays, revitalising the suspense and shock of the Elizabethan tragedy and offering an all-new experience of Hamlet.
Since training at Saint Mary’s University and mesmerising audiences as Hamlet in his third year production, Michael Hawkey bridges his professional debut with the well-versed character, commenting, I’m honoured to be able to take on this role with Lazarus at the Southwark Playhouse, where we will be tackling this tale in an innovative and aggressive way. Our Hamlet is as much a pragmatist as he is a philosopher. He is a doer, tasked with doing the unthinkable. To make your professional debut is one thing. To make it at 26 after a career change is another – and for that debut role to be Hamlet, I think it’s fair to say that this means an awful lot to me.
On rounding up the best and brightest of London’s theatre graduates, Artistic Director of Lazarus Theatre Company Ricky Dukes comments, It’s tremendous to have assembled such a talented, gifted, energetic, focussed and ‘up for it’ company of young performers ready to take on this iconic play. With over 3000 submissions it took us a while to whittle it down to the final 9, but blimey what a fantastic bunch they are, it’s going to be a real privilege and honour creating this new production with them.
Lazarus Theatre Company’s Hamlet is presented in association with Southwark Playhouse Shakespeare Schools project, which offers over 1000 free tickets to local Southwark Schools.
Hamlet is at Southwark Playhouse Thursday 12th January – Saturday 4th February 2023.