World premiere work offers new look at ‘Hamlet’ in Stamford

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Do you have plaGertrude ArchCrop SMALLns to celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday?

If you haven’t made plans you may want to consider attending the world premiere of a new play, “Gertrude,” that will be performed two times this weekend as part of Joyful Noise’s Voices Then & Now series.

This one-woman show, which is based on the character of Queen Gertrude in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” will feature Stamford-based actress Lenka Pichlikova. It was written by Czech playwright and radio dramatist, Anna Hodková.

In this new piece, it is the queen’s point of view that drives the drama. As Hamlet’s mother and the new wife of Hamlet’s uncle King Claudius (who has killed Hamlet’s father to usurp the crown), Gertrude observes the growing drama and expresses her feelings through vignettes of her childhood, according to organizers of the event.

Or, as noted in a recent news release: “Hodková’s script brings philosophical, theological, and metaphysical questions to bear on Gertrude’s situation, while it invents a “back story” of her previous life and how she willingly came to be involved with Claudius.”

Pichlíková translated the original Czech text into English and adapted the piece for American audiences. It is staged in collaboration with co-director Gregorio Rosenblum, emeritus professor at SUNY Purchase, where she is on the faculty of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts.

It also will serve as a benefit for Joyful Noise, a series of musical and performance events offered annually several times each year for the greater Stamford community.

Performances are at 2 and 6 p.m. on Sunday at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 884 Newfield Ave., Stamford. A benefit contribution of $30 is suggested. A reception follows the 2 p.m. performance. The play is appropriate for those 13 and older, according to organizers.

Christina Hennessy

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