Monday, January 30, 2012

A Conversation with Clare Stearns

I had the pleasure of getting to have an interview with Clare Stearns, the director of Hamlet which is coming to the Fringe in February! Her production sounds exciting and accessible for all ages!
1.First things first, What are the 5 W's of your productions? (Who? What play? Where? When? What company?)
Perilous Mouths presents a 90 minute version of HAMLET directed by Clare Stearns and starring Oliver Williams at the Fringe Theatre upstairs from Tuesday February 6th to Saturday 12th. Starts 7.30pm and tickets are $200. (see flyer)
2. Why do you feel people should come see your show?
People should come see the show because it is the greatest play in the English language, it explores, like no other play, the human condition and themes of lose, love, grief and revenge. Our version is cut to 90 minutes so that it is a fast paced, intense rendering of the story. 
3. How is your production of Hamlet different then others we may have seen before?
Our production is shorter, faster and more accessible as we have reduced the play to make it more understandable to an audience unused to Shakespeare.
4. What is the message of Hamlet, in your opinion? What as an audience should we learn from your production?
Hamlet seeks to show us the human experience of grief & lose particularly so that anyone who has ever lost a parent through death or divorce can empathize with Hamlet's situation. It also shows us how love can hurt, how it can be dangerous and how those in love can be selfish.
5. What was the process like for you, the cast and the crew?
Our process has been detailed and meticulous. With such a complex text is was important that we spent a lot of time in rehearsal making sure we all understood what we were saying. We worked every morning for two weeks on a collective understanding of the text. During this process our working script was changed and adapted as we became aware that some cuts did not work an others could be cut more precisely. We are now very happy with our final version.
6. What is the production concept?
The concept of this production is that it is set in the 1950s. We wanted a modern world but a world where parents still expected obedience from their children and monarchy still gained unquestioning loyalty.
7. Why did you choose to bring Hamlet to the HK audience?
We have chosen to stage Hamlet at this time simply because we were lucky enough to have a talented professional actor called Oliver Williams who has worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company and was prepared to play the role.
8.If you could change anything about the HK art community what would you change?
The HK Art community is vibrant and well interesting. I would love to see a government funded professional English Language theatre company established and given a permanent home in one of the new West Kowloon Arts centres.