The Hamlet Project New York – William Shakespeare may have lived and died centuries ago, but artists continue to find new ways to present his work to contemporary audiences.
Here are two projects that recreate Bard’s classics:
English spoken word artist Charlie Dupree released a music video retelling Othello earlier this month.
The piece is part of his ongoing project, “Shakey P Stories,” a collection of Shakespeare plays retold as rap songs.
“OT” does a great job of breaking down Othello in a concise and entertaining way, while making it special for contemporary British youth.
The song also has a chorus reminiscent of Dido’s line in “Stan” – sad, evocative and very catchy.
The aptly-named Three Day Hangover makes Shakespeare a part of New York City’s nightlife with a bard-themed production of a very energetic bard play.
The Hamlet Project, which takes place the summer at Harley’s Smokeshake, advertises itself as a “Shakespearian drinking stage show.”
And boy, did you check it out.
Armed with a noise device, the cast reminded the audience to take pictures throughout the show.
(One very easy sign to kill your composure is drinking when the character says “king.”)
The cast isn’t spared either. When a character dies, an additional game called “Heaven or Hell” begins, in which the audience vote on whether the deceased character goes to heaven (a glass of whiskey) or hell (a glass of bottled wine).
At the event I attended, only the actors who played Rosencrantz and Guildenstern visited Heaven’s Gate.
Hamlet and his associates may drop more f-bombs than Shakespeare ever intended, and Shakespeare’s staunch supporters may not be happy with Three Day Hangover’s liberal treatment of the text.
Despite being on the irreverent side, many scenes still retain their dramatic appeal.
The ghost sightings, in particular, are some of the best I’ve seen in a Hamlet production (although the ghost takes the form of a homeless man).
Their next show, a treat at Romeo and Juliet called The R+J Experience: Star-Cross’d Death Match, will premiere tonight at Harley’s Smokeshack — and I definitely will. For more information, see the Three Day Hangover website.