Interview: actor Brian Ferguson takes on Dominic Hill's new version of Hamlet

The play, 'about a time of huge change in the country', could reflect post-referendum society


Photo: Tim Morozzo

'As an actor I have done a lot of new writing,' explains Brian Ferguson. 'These plays are often about the things that aren't said, more so than the things that are. Shakespeare's characters don't have this problem. They shout and weep and rage and love each other passionately, without apology, and they use a whole world of words and imagery to express themselves.'

Taking on the role of the prince in Hamlet is, as Ferguson admits, 'the big one indeed!' Fortunately, far from being intimidated, he is clearly enthusiastic about the challenge, even finding a contemporary relevance. 'The play is about a time of huge change in the country as one very established order was being threatened by new ways of thinking and being. These new ideas felt exciting and extremely necessary to many people and chaotic and dangerous to many others.'

While he does not make it explicit, Ferguson's vision of Hamlet could reflect post-referendum society. Directed by Dominic Hill, who has already shown the skill to update the classics, The Citizens' Hamlet has enough risk, and imagination, to rescue it from the predictable retreads that are so familiar.

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Fri 19 Sep–Sat 11 Oct.


Dominic Hill directs Shakespeare's great tragedy, which has given rise to some of the most iconic phrases in the English language.


Post a comment