Observations: Shakespeare shake-up in Shoreham-by-Sea

 

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Or at least in the rubbish tip of Shoreham-by-Sea, which forms the malodorous backdrop for an ambitious new take on Hamlet, opening this weekend.

The Rest is Silence is the latest production from the exhilarating site-specific theatre company dreamthinkspeak. A multimedia deconstruction of Hamlet, which aims to expose the play's "messy underbelly", it will take place in a 1,130sqm warehouse, previously home to a "vacuuming solutions" company, on an unlovely industrial estate, opposite a scrapyard and down the road from the local tip.

"We're between Southwick and Shoreham. On one side is the coastal road to Brighton and on the other is a railway line. It's a very betwixt and between place, somewhere that is awaiting its identity," says Tristan Sharps, artistic director of dreamthinkspeak. "And Hamlet is a very betwixt and between play. There's something unrooted about it. It's always a mirror to the world we live in."

Once inside the warehouse, audience members will enter a "multi-reflective" space and embark on their own 90-minute journey through the play. "It's like being in a kaleidoscopic, 3D art gallery," says Sharp. "Or being immersed inside a film."

The show is the prestige ticket at this year's Brighton Festival, and a co-commission with London International Festival of Theatre and the RSC's World Shakespeare Festival; it will travel to Riverside Studios in Hammersmith and Newcastle's Northern Stage in June. The company's last show, Before I Sleep, a breathtakingly beautiful take on Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard set in an abandoned department store, became the biggest selling show in Brighton Festival's history, attracting 21,000 people over its extended run.

Since its beginnings in 1999, the company has fused literary classics, theatre and unexpected locations to ever more stunning effect, from a promenade version of The Divine Comedy in Liverpool Cathedral to a murky Crime and Punishment in a disused abbatoir in Clerkenwell. Its take on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Don't Look Back, toured the world in 2003, stopping off at a print factory in Moscow and an abandoned luxury hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Next up is a show about Leonardo da Vinci for Somerset House in London and a piece inspired by the 1980 Gwangju uprising in South Korea, which will premiere in the place where it happened.

The Rest is Silence is the company's second attempt at unlocking the heart of Shakespeare's greatest play. Its first show in 2002, Who Goes There?, was a deconstructed Hamlet that played out in the nooks and crannies of Battersea Arts Centre – "long before it became fashionable to do that", says Sharps. "But I felt the play got lost. Always, the chopping-up of the play is an attempt to understand it, not just to make a funky version of it. I'd never dream of doing a definitive Hamlet. I'd rather leave that to someone else. And I'm sure I'll come back to it again in the future."

To 8 June (www.brightonfestival.org)

Arts and Entertainment
Stewart Lee (Gavin Evans)

comedy

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

film
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment

film
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own
    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England