The House of O: A Reconstruction of Hamlet

Play Reading | Drama/Tragedy • Running Time: 65 mins
Written and Directed by Hanlé Barnard | Musical composition by De Wet van der Spuy | Starring: Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi; Morne Visser; Greg Parvess; Antoinette Louw; Claire Watling; Matthew Dylan Roberts; Jacques Theron; Lee Roodt; Ilana Cilliers; Lise-Marié Richardson
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The House of O: A Reconstruction of Hamlet is a new work by Hannah Barnard. The play will be read by a talented cast of award-winning actors including Greg Parvess, Morne Visser and Antoinette Louw. “The House of “O” , a play by Hannah Barnard, is a reconstruction of Shakespeare's Hamlet, adjusted to resonate current issues in the geopolitical arena. The play is not set in a specific era, yet its outlook conveys a feeling of a dystopian future, but with a lack of the expected technological advancements. The play addresses important themes like greed and corruption and is a reflection on current issues.  The play also features an added character "The Editor", who serves as the voice of reason and to a certain extent aids the breaking of the "fourth wall" between audience and players.
The House of “O” ( A Reconstruction of Hamlet) is set in a bleak world where The Elsinore state is threatened by the Norsemen.  Elsinore is surrounded by a frozen wasteland where wolves feed on the dead and scavengers haunt the icy plains. The tyrant Claudius and his court, however, live in luxury, leached from the struggling citizens feeding their greed. The country is left in desolate despair while Claudius promises protection and safety from the Norsemen to a gulible population who keeps him in power.  His greed and thirst for power leads him to murder his brother, the late Hamlet, referred to as "The Ghost of Man" in the play. It is not specified when he committed the murder, but it is clear that since he has reigned the country has fallen into hopelessness and crisis due to his corruption and greed.  The masses follow blindly and are ignorant to the crooked state, caught in the belief that “Lux et Veritas” ("Truth and light", the state's coat of arms) will set them free. It is this lack of knowledge that is addressed in the play. Hamlet (represented as The Son of Man) has a duty to free them from The Elsinore. “The world’s a prison and this one is mine”. Hamlet is inspired to take action by The Editor and The Ghost of Man. He reacts by weaving a well planned tapestry of deception, exposing The Elsinore state, challenging the status quo and taking revenge for his fathers death.

Starring: Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi as Editor Morne Visser as Ghost of Man/Claudius Greg Parvess as Hamlet  Antoinette Louw as Guldencrantz Claire Watling as Gertrude Matthew Dylan Roberts as Polonius Jacques Theron as Laertes Lee Roodt as Horatio Ilana Cilliers as Ophelia Lise-Marié Richardson as The Watchman/ Player Queen

Hanlé Barnard studied at National School of the Arts where she portrayed parts such as Grusha in Bertold Brecht\'s play and began to immerse herself in her craft. She continued her studies at The University of Cape Town where she completed her Performance Diploma under names like Geoffrey Hyland and Mark Fleishman. She was honoured enough to play parts like Hamlet in Hamlet. Hanlé enjoyed a run of her one woman show in Canada, Australia and South Africa and worked with David Rotenberg. She has won a Fleur de Cap and Dalro best actress. Hanlé has a deep love for acting and has also portrayed Antigone in Antigone directed by British director Sean Mathias at The Baxter. She also works as a writer and a singer and violinist. Recently she appeared in Modder and Bloed, Land van Skedels by Nicola Hanekom for which she was nominated a Fiesta, and Monster for Kyknet by Stafford Robinson. She is also a voice artist and part of electro duo Electric Corvette. 
De Wet van der Spuy (composer) studied BMus Jazz Composition at the University of Cape Town and continued to study guitar in the UK. He also does sound designer and has composed music for adverts and films like Die Monster (Kyknet)
Morne Visser (Claudius) Morne Visser has been acting for the last 20 years. Besides credits in international films such as City of Violence(Zulu), Long Walk to Freedom and racing Stripes, he can also be seen in the 3rd season of Black Sails. Locally he has starred in the films, Skoonheid, Retribution, Cape of Good Hope and recently in the award winning film, Dis ek, Anna for which he won Best Actor at the Silwerskermfees 2015. He can be seen, in the soon to be released, The Odyssey with Audrey Tautou in mid 2016.
Antoinette Louw received her drama degree cum laude from the University of the Free State (UFS). During the three years she was awarded the André du Plessis Award for Best Second Year Drama Student, the South African Theatre Journal Award for Best Third Year Drama Student, the Elsa Krantz Award for Best Drama Student (of 1994- 1996), the UFS Merit Bursory for Arts and Culture, and the UFS Honoury Colours for Arts and Culture. After living and touring Europe (as well as living on the island Malta for a year), she went back to the theatre and film industry. She landed a role in 7de Laan, one South Africa’s most popular soaps, as the boutique manager ‘Inge’. What was only suppose to be a month’s contract, became two years. After 7de Laan she went back to her first love - theatre. She has been seen at Afrikaans festivals in sold out productions like Dis ek, Anna, Afspraak and Die proponentjie.
Matthew Dylan Roberts is one of South Africa’s most respected character actors. In a career spanning over two decades, Matthew has acted with the likes of Morgan Freeman, Meg Ryan, William.H.Macy, Steve Coogan, Andrea Riseborough, Joseph Fiennes, James Brolin, Beau Bridges and Cory Feldman, to name but a few. He has also worked with Oscar-winning directors Clint Eastwood and Bille August. In 2012 he was nominated best actor for the film, ‘Orange Blank Blue’. The following year he was again nominated Best Actor in the film ‘Freedom Road’ at the 168 Film Festival in Los Angeles. He is also an experienced stage actor, having performed in over forty plays. 
Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi is an trilingual actor who has years of experience in theatre and film in a range of roles. His credits include: Xhosa & Zulu (Film Production Producer)  Uthando Lwethu (SABC, TV1) The Flyer (Sterkinekor) Stokvel (SABC 1) Interrogation room (SABC 1) Going Up Again (SABC 1) Unrequited Love (Nu- Metro) Wild Life (German Feature) The night of a black expense (German series) Family Bonds: Actor, Writer & translator. (SABC 1) Horn of Sorrow (NNTV) Guardians of Eden (Channel 14) The Angel, the Bicycle and Chinaman’s Finger. (MNET & Sterkinekor) Theatre credits include Numerous productions both as Actor and Director. Horn Of Sorrow; Kwa- Manzi; Bird; Of birds and the beasts; Into the lion’s den; Diaries of Diesel Du Toit; Slips; Nguni, the love story; Raiders V; Not the raiderz, beware mosquito; Raiders of the Queenie Solomoni.

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