Hamlet poster 2001

1st February - 10th March 2001

BMW Group Plant Oxford


Creation’s fruitful relationship with BMW allowed the use, for the first time, of a fantastic space inside the BMW plant. Director Zoe Seaton made full and imaginative use of the factory setting, even using cars as part of the play. Hamlet opened with the marriage of Claudius and Gertrude, who were driven onto the set (BMW’s Heritage Centre) in one of BMW’s luxury 7 series cars whilst later on, duels were dramatically conducted with spanners and hub caps. A perfect setting for this dark and tortured play.


“The Creation Theatre Company certainly have a knack when it comes to choosing venues for their Shakespeare. True, genius is hardly required to spot that the beautiful grounds of Magdalen College School make an idyllic setting for summer productions. But to visit BMW’s plant on Horspath Road and recognise it as the perfect setting for the Bard’s most famous and cerebral tragedy requires truly extraordinary vision.

The result is spellbinding. Creation’s Elsinore Castle is a nightmarish oasis of light and hard metal in one corner of the vast factory space; a place where the actors can storm over girders, climb up poles and grapple in cages; where they can screech into view in purring new cars, or loom menacingly in the middle distance; where Shakespeare’s famous lines can be focussed before echoing away under the girders into the blackness.

…This Hamlet is another testament to director Zoe Seaton’s skill. Shakespeare’s text is delivered with a crystal clarity characteristic of her productions… the electrifying pace and drama is also typical of her work: the never-flagging excitement builds inexorably towards a thrilling finale, and a choreographed fight of breath-taking skill and athleticism. Make every effort to see this spectacular production.”
Daily Information

“Performance of the evening is without doubt the beautiful vignette by Jamie Bower as a tortured Laertes and his bit of bother with Hamlet at the conclusion is as good a fight as you are likely to see anywhere. This is an epic scrap that words are unable to do justice to. A stunning end to a show tightly directed by Zoe Seaton.”
The Stage

“Damian Davis gives an anguished, turbocharged performance as the troubled prince, stalking the stark, metallic set, while his mother Gertrude, played by Marie McCarthy, is a sexually charged, sluttish presence.

…A particular highlight is the ghost scene. Pacing high above the audience, Hamlet is visited by the spirit of his murdered father.

Dark except for flames flicking light across the factory, the breathy, hissing voice of the unseen ghost urges the prince to avenge his death, as clanking discordant noises grate against the ears. Superb, effective drama.”
Bucks Herald

Artistic team

Director – Zoe Seaton
Set Designer – Andy Seaton
Costume Designer – Alison Taylor
Fight Director – Mike Bower
Choreographer – Jools Beech
Lighting Designer – Ashley Bale


Peter Allen – Polomius
Rachel Allen – Ophelia
Jamie Bower – Laertes
Paul Chesterton – Rosencrantz
Damian Davis – Hamlet
David Martin – Horatio
Marie McCarthy – Gertrude
Darren Ormandy – Claudius

Box office 01865 766266

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