Gertrude’s Hamlet provides 3 strong roles for older female actors. It needs 8 or 9 other cast members, and it gives an opportunity for a good younger male actor to try a condensed version of the Hamlet character.
The Gertrudes have new lines in Hamlet’s scenes, and new scenes with contemporary dialogue, giving background and explanation. They talk to one another, they address the audience, and each responds when her particular role is appropriate. There is comedy as well as tragedy, and many unanswered questions.
Gertrude’s Hamlet is not a ‘wotif’ exercise, creating a new story for Gertrude. It is an expansion and articulation of her point of view within Shakespeare’s own Hamlet. All positions and claims relate to the original play, and are backed up academically in Hamlet’s Hereditary Queen.