New York, NY,
04
April
2022
|
17:00 PM
Europe/Amsterdam

Hamlet and Oresteia

As Interpreted by Olivier Award-Winning Director Robert Icke
and Starring Alex Lawther and Lia Williams,
Make North American Premieres at Park Avenue Armory 
 

Performed in Repertory in the Wade Thompson Drill Hall,
Icke's Contemporary Adaptations Shed New Light on Classic Dramas


June 1 - August 13, 2022
 

Lia Williams in Oresteia at the Almeida Theatre. Photo: Manuel Harlan

From June through August, Park Avenue Armory will present the North American premieres of Robert Icke's award-winning modern adaptations of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Aeschylus’ Oresteia, performed in repertory in the grand Wade Thompson Drill Hall. Directed and interpreted by the Olivier Award–winning Icke—acclaimed for his intelligent and accessible productions and his ability to bring fresh, new perspectives to classical texts—the productions will feature Alex Lawther (The Imitation Game, The Last Duel, The French Dispatch, Black Mirror) in Hamlet as the brooding protagonist, and Lia Williams (The Crown, His Dark Materials), who returns to Oresteia in her Olivier-nominated role as Klytemnestra and will perform as Gertrude in Hamlet. The productions, which originated at the internationally acclaimed Almeida Theatre in London, will be presented in repertory for 11 weeks at the Armory and performed by a single British company. Both productions use video elements and dynamic stage design to examine the psychological impacts of grief and retribution, and will play on alternating evenings with previews beginning June 1 for Hamlet and June 9 for Oresteia.  

“Robert Icke is a visionary director who is disrupting the way audiences consume classical works,” said Pierre Audi, the Armory’s Marina Kellen French Artistic Director. “Icke’s directorial approach recontextualizes and democratizes classic texts that are often seen as inaccessible, catapulting them into the modern world and upholding their relevance through his cogent adaptations of works like Hamlet, Oresteia, and Enemy of the People—all of which we’ve been proud to present at the Armory.”

“We are delighted to welcome Robert Icke back to the Armory for an ambitious merging of theatricality and clever multimedia integration” said Rebecca Robertson, Founding President and Executive Producer of Park Avenue Armory. “The Armory is committed to providing the space for fresh, innovative perspectives from vanguard artists working around the world. We are enthusiastic to work with Icke and his team to bring these two classics to the Drill Hall, reinterpreting their timeless lessons for the modern world.”

Icke’s Hamlet and Oresteia originated at the internationally acclaimed Almeida Theatre, which was founded in 1979 by Audi. At the Armory, the productions will play in repertory for the first time, allowing audiences to experience the throughlines and connections Icke explores in his pairing of these classic dramas—depicting two epic family sagas written over 2,000 years apart—which will be performed by the same cast. In his adaptations, Icke bridges antiquity and the contemporary to create worlds that enhance the psychological drama in classic texts; he blurs the lines between public and private life in Hamlet, and heightens courtroom tensions in Oresteia.

Hamlet and Oresteia are part of Park Avenue Armory’s full 2022 season. Additional upcoming Drill Hall programming at the Armory includes: the North American premiere of Grawemeyer Award-winning Upload (March 22-30, 2022), a critically heralded new opera by composer, director, and librettist Michel van der Aa featuring soprano Julia Bullock and baritone Roderick Williams; Monochromatic Light (Afterlife) (September 27-October 8, 2022), a new commission by musician and composer Tyshawn Sorey that pays homage to Morton Feldman’s iconic composition for the dedication of Houston’s Rothko Chapel 50 years ago, with director Peter Sellars reimagining the work with a new staging designed for the Drill Hall featuring works by visual artist Julie Mehretu; the debut of an Armory-commissioned immersive film installation, Euphoria (November 30-January 1, 2023), by German video and film artist Julian Rosefeldt that takes aim at the destructive potential of capital, money, greed, and consumption, featuring original music composed by Samy Moussa and performed by an ensemble of jazz drummers and singers from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

Previous theatrical productions at the Armory include Robert Icke’s interactive adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic morality tale Enemy of the People; Sam Mendes’ hit production of The Lehman Trilogy, adapted by Ben Power and starring Adam Godley, Ben Miles, and Simon Russell Beale; Antigone, an acclaimed production that flooded the Drill Hall with water as it mixed the foundational principles of Greek tragedy, Japanese Noh theater, Indonesian shadow play, and Buddhist philosophy to tell the classic Greek tale; Macbeth, directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, and starring Branagh and Alex Kingston for which the Wade Thompson Drill Hall was transformed into a bloody, rainy Scottish heath; Ivo van Hove’s chilling staging of The Damned; Simon Stone’s critically acclaimed, Obie Award-winning, and four-time Drama Desk-nominated production Yerma, starring Billie Piper and performed within a glass encasement intersecting the audience; Obie Award-winning and eight-time Drama Desk-nominated play The Hairy Ape, directed by Richard Jones and starring Bobby Cannavale in a production where the audience was surrounded by a massive revolving stage; Christopher Shinn’s adaptation of Judgment Day, directed by Richard Jones and starring Emmy Award-winning actor Luke Kirby; Obie Award-winning A Room in India (Une chambre en Inde) with Le Théâtre du Soleil under the direction of Ariane Mnouchkine; and the unprecedented residency of the Royal Shakespeare Company of five productions in repertory over six weeks in association with Lincoln Center Festival.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Tickets sold separately for each production. For a full schedule of performances, please visit armoryonpark.org.

Hamlet
North American premiere
A Park Avenue Armory and Almeida Theatre Production

This production had its world premiere at The Almeida Theatre in London
Produced by The Almeida Theatre and produced in the West End by Ambassador Theatre Group and Sonia Friedman Productions

By William Shakespeare
Direction Robert Icke
Set & Costumes Hildegard Bechtler
Lighting Natasha Chivers
Sound Tom Gibbons
Video Tal Yarden

Previews: June 1 – June 25

Performances: June 28 – August 13
Evenings at 7:00 p.m.; Matinees at 1:00 p.m.
Dates will vary. Please check the website for a full Hamlet schedule.

Oresteia
North American premiere
A Park Avenue Armory and Almeida Theatre Production

This production had its world premiere at The Almeida Theatre in London
Produced by The Almeida Theatre and produced in the West End by Ambassador Theatre Group and Sonia Friedman Productions

After Aeschylus, in an adaptation by Robert Icke
Direction Robert Icke
Set and Costume Hildegard Bechtler
Lighting Natasha Chivers
Sound Tom Gibbons
Video Tim Reid

Previews: June 9 – June 20

Performances: June 21 – August 13
Evenings at 7:00 p.m.; Matinees at 1:00 p.m.

Dates will vary. Please check the website for a full Oresteia schedule.

TICKETS
Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased at armoryonpark.org /
(212) 933-5812

Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Avenue at 67th Street, New York, NY

SPONSORSHIP
Citi and Bloomberg Philanthropies are the Armory’s 2022 Season Sponsor.

Support for Park Avenue Armory’s artistic season has been generously provided by the Charina Endowment Fund, the Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Foundation, the Marc Haas Foundation, the Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation, the Leon Levy Foundation, the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, the Richenthal Foundation, and the Isak and Rose Weinman Foundation. Additional support has been provided by the Armory’s Artistic Council.

ABOUT ROBERT ICKE
Robert Icke is an award-winning writer and theater director best known for his modern adaptations of classic texts. Recent original productions include Enemy of the People at Park Avenue Armory (2021), Oedipus and After Nora at Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (2020, 2018), and The Doctor, based on Arthur Schnitzler’s Professor Bernhardi at the Almeida Theatre in London (2019). Other recent productions include Anton Chekhov’s Ivanov at Schauspiel Stuttgart (2019) and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the Almeida Theatre and West End (2017).

In 2018, Icke won the Kurt Hübner Award for his debut production in Germany, an adaptation of Oresteia, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He is the youngest ever winner of the Olivier Award for ‘Best Director’ for Oresteia (2015), which also won the ‘Best Director’ prize at both the Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

ABOUT ALEX LAWTHER
Alex Lawther is best known for his acclaimed roles in The Last Duel, the third series of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, and in The End of the F***ing World. He made his screen debut as the young Alan Turing in the Oscar-winning film, The Imitation Game, for which he was nominated for the ‘Best British Newcomer’ Award at the BFI London Film Festival. 

He was also the recipient of the Best Actor Award at the 2016 Dublin International Film Festival for his performance as ‘Elliot’ in the British film Departure. Alex’s other screen credits include Fox Searchlight’s The French Dispatch; Fox Searchlight’s Goodbye Christopher Robin; and a starring role in BBC One’s adaptation of Howards End in 2017, based on the classic E.M. Forster novel and adapted by screenwriter and playwright Kenneth Lonergan. His theater credits include: David Hare’s South Downs (Minerva Theatre; Harold Pinter Theatre); Ali Taylor’s Fault Lines (Hampstead Theatre); Martyn Hesford's The Glass Supper (Hampstead Theatre); Crushed Shells and Mud (Southwark Playhouse); The Jungle (Young Vic, The Playhouse Theatre, and St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn); and The Tempest (Caliban/Ferdinand, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord).

ABOUT LIA WILLIAMS
Lia Williams is an English actor and director, known for her work in theater, film, and television. Her theater credits include: The Night of the Iguana (Noel Coward Theatre), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Donmar Warehouse), The Lover, The Collection (Donmar Warehouse); Mary Stuart (Almeida/Duke of York’s); Oresteia, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress (Almeida/Trafalgar Studios); Old Times (Harold Pinter); Arcadia (Ethel Barrymore, NY); Skylight, which garnered Tony and Olivier nominations (NT/Royale, NY). Her film credits include The ForeignerThe Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey; Girl from Rio; The King Is Alive; Different for Girls; The Fifth Province; Firelight; and Dirty Weekend. Her television credits include: Death in Paradise; Riviera; The Capture; His Dark Materials; The Crown; Kiri; The Silkworm; The Missing; Secret State; Doc Martin; May 33rd (Bafta Best Actress nomination); The Russian Bride (FIPA Best Actress Award); Imogen’s Face; Shot Through the Heart; Flowers of the Forest; and Seaforth.

www.armoryonpark.org

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