Dead Centre: Hamnet

Irish theatre company Dead Centre present a story about Shakespeare’s forgotten son.

Performances at Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, 20-22 November 2018.

William Shakespeare had one son. He named him Hamnet. Shakespeare then left Stratford-upon-Avon to pursue his career in theatre in London, effectively abandoning his family. In 1596, he was told that the boy – then 11 years old – was seriously ill. By the time Shakespeare reached home, Hamnet had died. In 1599, Shakespeare wrote a play called Hamlet.

Hamnet is too young to understand Shakespeare. And he is one letter away from being a great man. We are too old to understand Hamnet. How close are we to greatness? We meet in the middle, in a theatre, in purgatory; youth reaching forward to a life it will never know, an audience reaching back to a life it has forgotten.

Dead Centre, the Dublin-based theatre company responsible for groundbreaking and award-winning productions Lippy and Chekhov’s First Play, recovers the little-known Hamnet from history, placing him centre stage as he pieces together a portrait of his famous father.

One of only three UK touring dates this year following an international tour, Warwick Arts Centre brings this very local story – and dazzlingly innovative production – home to Shakespeare country.

“Over the course of a beautifully spry hour you can admire the performance’s bright surface or plunge into it fathoms deep” ★★★★★ Irish Times

Supported by Culture Ireland as part of GB18: Promoting Irish Arts in Britain.


Tuesday 20 – Thursday 22 November 2018
Dead Centre Presents:
Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL
Tickets: £17 (£15), £15 (£13) Under 26s £11
Details: www.warwickartscentre.co.uk/whats-on/2018/hamnet/

Read more: The Guardian – Hamnet: a play for Shakespeare’s forgotten son (and one 11-year-old actor)

Dead Centre website: www.deadcentre.org/hamnet/

  • Hamnet isn’t the only Shakespeare-themed production at Warwick Arts Centre this autumn season. English Touring Theatre bring their acclaimed production of Othello to the venue (Tuesday 6 to Saturday 10 November 2018), while Lost Dog present Juliet and Romeo (Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 November 2018), which imagines the star-crossed lovers survived into middle age. For more information see: www.warwickartscentre.co.uk


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