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The Hamlet Voyage

​The Matthew in Bristol and The Bridewell Theatre  (2022)
Directed by Ben Prusiner

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Hamlet was performed in 1607 in Sierra Leone. We want to know why.

The Hamlet Voyage is a new play about the first record of Shakespeare being performed outside Europe: a production of Hamlet, acted by sailors in 1607 for West African dignitaries, during the first English voyage to reach Mughal India.

Join us for a theatrical critique of the very beginnings of British colonial ambitions.


Drawing on classical performance across three continents -- from Shakespeare & sea shanties to West African storytelling & drumming to South Asian music & puppetry -- we will examine this cross-cultural encounter that took place before England became deeply involved in the Atlantic slave trade, before the age of British imperialism, and before Shakespeare became a global name.

Cast: Pauline Babula, Ray Sesay, Natali Servat, Joe Feeney, Marieme Diouf, Eliot Guralarocca, Adam Scott-Rowley, Ayodele Scott and Danann McAleer

Interview with Afrodiziak

Interview with Kevin Philomen at BBC Bristol

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