PLAYS

image

Hamlet

“When sorrows come, they come not single spies
But in battalions.”

A ghost resembling the recently deceased King, Old Hamlet, is seen by guards at the Danish royal palace. Horatio decides his friend Prince Hamlet, the late King’s son, must be told.

Claudius, the new King, has recently married his brother’s widow, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother. King Claudius conducts affairs of state involving the warlike actions of Norwegian Prince Fortinbras. Counsellor Polonius allows his son Laertes to leave the court, but the King and Queen insist Hamlet must stay and criticise his melancholy mood. Horatio tells Hamlet about the Ghost...

Full play information & synopsis

image

The Tempest

“We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”

Returning home from a Royal wedding, a ship is struck by a terrible storm. All on board, including Alonzo the King of Naples, his son Ferdinand, his brother Sebastian and Antonia, the Duchess of Milan, face certain death. The ship begins to sink.

On a nearby island, a horrified young girl, Miranda, watches the shipwreck. Her father, Prospero, calms her. The storm was a magic one, the ship and its passengers are safe. He has raised the storm to set in motion his revenge, 12 years in the making.

Full play information & synopsis

image

Henry V

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.”

We are introduced to the Chorus, who urge us to use our imaginations to help tell this epic story of Henry V and England’s challenge to the French throne.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is summoned by the newly crowned King Henry V, who wants to know more about his claim to the French throne. Henry’s father warned him that England’s nobles need a foreign war to distract them from internal quarrels. The Archbishop is equally keen for a war to distract Henry from passing a law threatening the Church’s possessions. Henry makes his choice – war.

Full play information & synopsis

image

Twelfth Night

“If music be the food of love, play on
Give me excess of it.”

Viola, a young noblewoman, is shipwrecked and cast ashore in the country of Illyria. She believes her beloved identical twin brother Sebastian has drowned. Disguising herself as a young man (Cesario) she plans to find employment in the court of Duke Orsino.

Orsino believes himself in love with the aloof Countess Olivia, but she’s in deep mourning, which is also a useful excuse to rebuff Orsino’s unwanted advances. Olivia’s uncle Sir Toby Belch and his foolish companion, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, disturb the house with drunken escapades. Clever Maria, Olivia’s lady-in-waiting, attempts to keep some order, but can’t resist Sir Toby’s zest for life.

Full play information & synopsis