• Broadway Beat

Researchers Discover Last Remaining Time Period "Hamlet" Hasn't Been Set In

by Cameron Smith. @CamRayNYC.

CAMBRIDGE, England - Following their groundbreaking recent discovery of an unreleased Eugene O’Neill play, researchers at the University of Cambridge have uncovered the one time period in which a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet has never been set in, sources confirmed.


“We really thought we found them all,” said Tom Williamson, Director of Global Theatre Research, while sifting through thousands of college, community, and professional productions of the Shakespeare play. “We discovered that nobody has set the play in the Stone Age, even though it would be kind of fun. I mean, I guess that would make the sword fights difficult, so I get it” he added.


Hamlet has been notorious among stage folk looking for fresh, innovative settings to place the story, as opposed to its’ native Denmark. At one point, Williamson’s team thought they actually found two time periods in which Hamlet had not been set, however, the team’s hopes were dashed when they realized that the University of California, Los Angeles already produced a “Space Age Monkeys” Hamlet in 2002.


Some theatre luminaries were particularly impressed by the discovery.


“I can’t believe we didn’t think of setting Hamlet in the Stone Age,” noted Brad Richards, director of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s recent 2017 production of Hamlet. “Honestly, I thought the RSC’s production was pretty original. Not many people think to set Shakespeare in ‘Post-Cold War Brazil’, but I guess other options are still out there, or at least they were,” he added.


Many individuals are already looking to capitalize on the development.


“We’re bringing this groundbreaking new production to New York City next year, and it’s literally going to be unlike anything anyone has ever seen,” noted producer Veronica Townsend. “Yes, all the words are the same, but the actors will be dressed differently,” she added.


At press time, the new, prehistoric revival of Hamlet is set to open on Broadway in 2020 with Tom Holland in the lead role. Producers originally looked for an “interesting, left-field” casting choice for the lead, such as a dog or a scarecrow, but figured that the stone age setting would already be pushing it in terms of intense, striking theatrical innovation.