“Stand and unfold yourself.”


“Stand and Unfold Yourself/Long Live the King” by Marc Nelson.

Hamlet is a big subject. Big enough that, even if I were to post every single day between now and my own production’s opening night (400 days from now, at a guess), I should not run short of new ideas to gnaw upon. That’s about one idea for every year that Hamlet has existed.

Except, let’s face it, after 400 years, how many ideas about Hamlet can really be considered “new”? Well, to borrow a quote from another Shakespeare play: ‘Tis new to thee. I suppose it is my hope that, by consolidating other people’s ideas in one place and slapping tags on them, I might bring a new perspective on the whole tragic mess. What else is scholarship for — or production, for that matter — than to make new ideas out of old?

In any case, here is what you can expect from Maple Danish — although, as you’ve already seen, one post per day might be too much to ask for:

  • Ham and Sharp: Personal recollections about my almost quarter-century relationship with the play.
  • That’s the Question: Confronting the big, potentially unanswerable, questions about Hamlet.
  • The Play’s the Thing: Or the film, as often as not. Reviews and meditations about prior productions.
  • Speak the Speech: Delving into monologues, or other noteworthy sections of the play.
  • Nature’s Mirror: Discussions of performance traditions, mostly drawn from Anthony B. Dawson’s study of Hamlet in Performance.
  • Textual Trivia: My fumbling attempts to cobble together a performance script from the three different versions of Hamlet.
  • Scholarly Sparring: Grabbing an academic interpretation of Hamlet, turning it upside-down, and shaking it until the contents of its pockets come loose.
  • Wonderous Strange: Really weird adaptations, comical spins on original material, and anything else that doesn’t fit into a different category.
  • H2016: Finally, applying any or all of the above to my 2016 production of Hamlet (H2016 for short).

That’s more than enough to keep me busy, I suspect, but I’m happy to entertain other suggestions. If there’s something you’d like to see in a Hamlet Blog, please let me know!


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