Olivier Award-winning director Robert Icke's contemporary adaptations of Shakespeare's Hamlet and Aeschylus' Oresteia complete their North American premieres at Park Avenue Armory August 13. The shows are presented in repertory for the first time at the Off-Broadway theatre.
Previews began June 10 and July 13 for Hamlet and Oresteia, respectively, with the former opening June 28 and the latter July 26. Alex Lawther stars as Shakespeare's Danish prince, joined exclusively in the cast of Hamlet by Tony winner Jennifer Ehle as Gertrude and Calum Finlay as Rosencrantz. Oresteia stars Olivier nominee Anastasia Hille as Klytemnestra.
Angus Wright, Olivier winner Luke Treadaway, Kirsty Rider, Peter Wight, Joshua Higgott, Tia Bannon, Michael Abubakar, David Rintoul, Hara Yannas, Gilbert Kyem Jr., Ross Waiton, and Marty Cruikshank all perform in both plays.
"Icke’s directorial approach recontextualizes and democratizes classic texts that are often seen as inaccessible," said Armory Marina Kellen French Artistic Director Pierre Audi in an earlier statement, "catapulting them into the modern world and upholding their relevance." Using video elements and stage design to look at the psychological impacts of grief and retribution, the two murder-filled family dramas explore questions about revenge, duty, and legacy.
Icke's interpretations both made their world premieres at London's Almeida Theatre. Cruickshank, Finlay, Higgott, Rintoul, Wight, and Wright all starred in the original Almeida production of Hamlet. Lia Williams was originally set to reprise her Olivier-nominated performance as Klytemnestra, but departed the production due to injury.