The Hamlet Voyage
The Matthew in Bristol and The Bridewell Theatre (2022)
Directed by Ben Prusiner
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.