Hamlet: 1603 – Staged Reading

“To be or not to be… Aye, there’s the point.”

In 1603 there appeared upon the London literary scene the quarto text of a well regarded recent play by Shakespeare. The play was Hamlet, and the text in question would later prove both strikingly similar to – and remarkably different from – the subsequently published Q2 and folio texts with which generations of audiences have since become familiar.

Quarto 1 of Hamlet – colloquially “the bad quarto” is something of a mystery: was it an early draft? A pirate copy? Or a closer witness to the play in its original performance than the carefully edited publications which succeeded it?

At 2pm on Saturday the 14th May we will present the text of the “bad quarto” in a staged reading in Somerville College Chapel. The performance will be followed by a roundtable discussion of the 1603 text and its relationship to the more enduring versions of the play involving actors, director and academics, and leading to further informal discussion over light refreshments.

Visit http://www.reverendproductions.com/#!blank/cmwlp to book tickets. For further information e-mail brian.mcmahon@some.ox.ac.uk

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