Two be or not two be – that is at the heart of a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet which is being performed in St Albans over the next fortnight.

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Starting tonight (Thursday), Hold Off The Earth, adapted by Stephen Cunningham for Peppermint Muse Theatre Company, is being performed at the Maltings Arts Theatre.

At the heart of Stephen’s version of the text is the splitting of Hamlet, played by both a man and a woman.

Local actor, Andrew Margerison, who plays one of the Hamlets, said: “The part of Hamlet is coveted by most actors and was certainly on my wish list. Whilst I’d never dreamt of sharing the role with a woman, the way the script is split has always made complete sense to me.

“It seems so natural now to be one half of Hamlet that I can’t imagine playing the whole part. It has made me re-think this well-known text and I hope that this production will shed a new light on the play for audiences.”

Lisa White, artistic director of Peppermint Muse who plays the ‘other’ Hamlet, commented: “Some of the line-splitting was set out in the script but we also worked through scenes in rehearsals to discover where it would be best to allocate the lines.”

Hold Off The Earth runs from tonight (Thursday) until Saturday (8) and then from next Thursday, February 13, until Saturday, February 15, startin g at 8pm. Tickets are £12.50 from www.ticketsource.co.uk/ovo.

n Peppermint Muse is an associate company at The Maltings Arts Theatre and welcomes contact from potential new actors, directors, writers and production associates to keep thought-provoking theatre alive.

Further information can be found at www.peppermintmuse.co.uk, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PeppermintMuse or twitter @PeppermintMuse

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