sealPurdue News

October 24, 2002

Dark and brooding 'Hamlet' coming to Loeb Playhouse

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Theatre de la Jeune Lune's production of Shakespeare's best-known tragedy "Hamlet" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, in Loeb Playhouse.

Admission is $24 for general public, $18 for Purdue students and children K-12. Tickets can be purchased at Purdue box offices or charged by phone at (765) 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW. Tickets also are available at all Ticketmaster outlets. "Hamlet" is presented by Purdue Convocations.

Theatre de la Jeune Lune has taken the most primal, elemental aspects of the play and used them as the launching point for a thoughtful, dark and evocative evening. Fire, earth and water become important factors in this production, not just through the imagery of the language, but also through the physical production audiences will see on stage.

The set design contributes to the mood of this production of "Hamlet." On a stage covered with sand, the mere act of walking becomes much more deliberate and interesting to watch.

Costume designer Fredericka Hayter has created a pageant-like effect with masks and swaths of colored fabric. The silent and masked figures of the chorus move unobtrusively and hauntingly about, occasionally serving as the scenery on the sparse stage.

The mysterious lighting design, employing actual flame, and the live performance of Eric Jensen's original score, rife with eerie harmonics, also help to set a unique environment for this production.

Theatre de le Jeune Lune is a Minneapolis theater company that has been in existence for more than 20 years. With the leaders of the theater having been trained at the renowned École Jacques Lecoq in Paris, the company's productions are known for the strong physicality of the performing style and the sensitivity to the space in which each piece is performed.

Some of the art of mounting Shakespeare exists in the editing, as the complete text of "Hamlet" can take an entire evening. Theatre de la Jeune Lune, under the guiding hand of director Paddy Hayter, has produced a version of this play that focuses on scenes that are often minimized or cut altogether.

In many productions, Claudius and Gertrude, the duplicitous king and queen of Denmark, wander into the action, say a few pithy, villainous lines, and then disappear again until the end of the play, when Hamlet takes his revenge upon them. In this production, the scenes between the two are given much greater weight.

The editing also has resulted in a streamlined running time. This production of "Hamlet" runs approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, more than an hour less than many productions.

CONTACT: Larry Sommers, Purdue Convocations, (765) 494-5045,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photograph of Stephen Epp as Hamlet is available at

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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