Hamlet adaptation takes the stage at St Albans Shakespeare Festival

PUBLISHED: 17:07 21 March 2016 | UPDATED: 17:07 21 March 2016

Stephen Tomas and Andrew Margerison who play the two Hamlets in Hold Off The Earth

Stephen Tomas and Andrew Margerison who play the two Hamlets in Hold Off The Earth


The St Albans Shakespeare Festival continues next week with an adaptation of Hamlet.

Following a highly-successful opening week of the festival, organised by Ovo Theatre Company, the next production is Hold Off The Earth, written by local author Stephen Tomas.

The play draws on the earliest editions of Shakespeare’s masterpiece – including the lesser known First Quarto of 1603 – and is an original, radical re-imagining of perhaps his most famous play.

Featuring a small cast, comprising some of St Albans’ best known actors, this is a challenging, original approach to a play that has intrigued and inspired scholars and actors alike over 400 years.

Hold Off The Earth had its premiere in the Maltings Theatre in 2014, attracting very favourable reviews and comments.

It is directed on this occasion by Janet Podd.

The author, Stephen Tomas, who appears in the play for the first time as one of two Hamlets, said: “Having directed the original production myself, it’s really exciting to be revisiting it with another director and an almost entirely new cast – and to be part of the cast myself.”

Hold Off The Earth runs from Tuesday, March 29 to Saturday, April 2 at the Maltings Theatre.

Tickets are available through the Maltings Theatre website at www.maltingsartstheatre.co.uk, the Shakespeare Festival website at www.stalbansshakespeare.co.uk, in person at St Albans Tourist and Information centre, Town Hall, Market Place, or by phone on 0333 666 3366.

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