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Hamlet Voyage wins Arts Council National Lottery project grant funding

Three actors taking part in a workshop

Actors take part in the first workshop for The Hamlet Voyage

30 September 2021

The Hamlet Voyage, a collaborative project investigating a 1607 performance of Hamlet off the coast of Sierra Leone, has been awarded funding for research and development.

The Hamlet Voyage is a project investigating the possible performance of Shakespeare's Hamlet on a ship off the coast of Sierra Leone in 1607.  The performance is thought to have taken place during the first East India Company voyage to reach mainland India. Dr Laurence Publicover, Senior Lecturer in the Department, is advising on the project, which has been awarded a £13,900 Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant for research and development.


Ben Prusiner, artistic director of Re:Verse Theatre, will be developing and directing a new play written by British-Nigerian playwright Rex Obano about this performance.  The production team also includes Delhi-based Anurupa Roy (puppetry design) and Bristol-based artists David Dravie-John (movement director) and Jeevan Singh (music director). 


Initial workshops, held at the University of Bristol Theatre Department, and involving University of Bristol students, were held in the summer of 2021.  This grant will allow a  second series of workshops to go ahead this autumn, before a series of performances in summer 2022. There will also be a programme of activities for local schools and community groups.


The project intersects with Dr Publicover's research interests in Shakespeare and in maritime culture; he has co-edited a edited a volume of essays, out soon from Palgrave Macmillan, exploring reading, writing, and performing at sea, and he teaches a second-year special subject at Bristol entitled Literature and the Sea as well as several units on Shakespeare.


To find out more about the project, see Dr Publicover’s blogpost on The Hamlet Voyage for Migration Mobilities Bristol (a specialist research institute at the University of Bristol) or listen to the departmental podcast where he discusses it.


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