RTÉ Drama On One broadcasts
Hamlet, Prince of Derry
by Colin Murphy after William Shakespeare
Drama On One
Broadcast Date : 26 July 2020
8pm RTE Radio 1
Hamlet, Prince of Derry
by Colin Murphy after William Shakespeare.
Directed by Conall Morrison, and played by Stage Beyond Theatre Company.
A State in crisis. A royal family divided. The online mob is angry. Everybody is spying on everybody else. Something is rotten in the state of Derry, and Hamlet is determined to fix it… between all-night gaming sessions, angry rants on YouTube, and fighting with his girlfriend on Snapchat. This is Hamlet, Prince of Derry – a Hamlet for our distracted times.
Stage Beyond, Derry’s theatre company for adults with learning disabilities, bring their unique skillset and perspective to the most famous play in the English language.
Hamlet, Prince of Derry was due to open as a stage play in May 2020.
But because of the Covid-19 crisis, the production has moved to radio, with RTÉ Drama On One teaming up with Stage Beyond to use an array of online apps to record the cast during the lockdown.
Writer Colin Murphy (Haughey/Gregory, Guaranteed!, Inside The GPO) said: “This is a version of Hamlet written specifically for the skills of the Stage Beyond actors and set in a very contemporary Derry. Because everybody in the play is always on their screens, the production has transferred naturally to being recorded by the actors via their smartphones.”
Director Conall Morrison’s previous Shakespeare productions include Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew for the RSC and The Tempest and Hamlet for the Abbey Theatre. He has been enjoying working with the actors of Stage Beyond for this unique radio project:
“We were all hugely disappointed when the lockdown happened and our work on the play in rehearsals was paused. But getting a chance to record the play for radio has turned out to be a very exciting way of harvesting all the work the actors had done. The stage production will ultimately get to dust down its rapiers and fight another day, but in the meantime, it’s been invigorating and exciting working with the actors as they take their first steps into the world of radio production. Initial experiments with the recordings were already sounding hugely promising, and the Stage Beyond cast are all greatly enjoying the process, adapting their acting style to suit the demands of the medium.”
The play also features the acclaimed actor Patrick O’Kane in the role of the Ghost and UTV Presenter Paul Clark as the newsreader in this contemporary version of the drama.
Adapted for the company by Colin Murphy and directed by Conall Morrison.
Starring the actors of Stage Beyond Theatre Company with Patrick O’Kane and UTV Presenter, Paul Clark.
Original Score by Si Schroeder.
Assistant Director: Alison Mahoney
Artistic Director, Stage Beyond: Dee Conaghan
Sound Supervision: Damian Chennells and Ruth Kennington
Producer: Kevin Brew
Series Producer; Kevin Reynolds
RTÉ Group Head of Drama & Comedy: Shane Murphy
Oisín Kelly (Hamlet)
Isobel Sharkey (Ophelia)
Bryan Sutherland (Claudius)
Bernadette Shiels (Gertrude)
Catherine Campbell (Horatia)
Carol Glenn (Francisca)
Martin O’Hagan (Rosencrantz)
Alan Doherty (Guildenstern)
Gary Quigley (Laertes/Jack Sceptred Isle)
Tarrah Sharma (S S Sleeping Wolf)
Bernadette Foley (Priest)
Frank Nelis (First Gravedigger)
Shane Marron (Second Gravedigger)
Patrick O’Kane (Ghost of Hamlet’s Father)
Paul Clark (Newsreader)
Computer Voice (Alison Mahoney)
Gorretti Slavin and family (Derry Crowd Scenes)
Other roles played by members of the company
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DERRY by Colin Murphy after William Shakespeare, directed by Conall Morrison, and with an original score by Si Schroeder, will be broadcast in the Drama On One slot on RTÉ Radio 1at 8pm on Sunday, 26 July 2020. The drama will also made available for download at: rte.ie/dramaonone