Terri Brabon Tackles Shakespeare’s Hamlet: by Joel Sherwin
“I was completely naïve going into Hamlet and I will be completely honest about that because everybody’s always raved about how much of a beast Hamlet is and I’ve always scoffed.”
A director, actor, and producer Brabon is always busy but Hamlet challenged her more than any other Shakespeare play.
“I’ve completely converted to the fact that it is a massive beast and I feel like we’re on top of it and we’ve tamed it but for a long time I did not know I was going to get there. I was naïve when I started and throughout the rehearsal period I felt like ‘oh my god what have I done, like I’ve bitten off way too much than I can chew’ and it was great for me as a director to be really challenged and just go ‘I don’t even know what this scene is about’ and just pull back and stop and work with the actors ‘okay well help me. What do we think it’s about? Whats going on?’ I didn’t have all the answers and again as I said before its my first Hamlet as well. I’m sure I’ll get another chance at it but that’s been exciting for me, very exciting.”
Brabon is already preparing for next years Shakespeare, ‘a comedy of some sort’, as her tri-fold roles aim to the future.
“As a director I think I really like opening night, because I know, I don’t know why, but I think after thats done by the second night I’m thinking about next year. So once I feel like opening nights up and everything went okay then I’m still tweaking and I will tweak and tweak and tweak right up till closing night but my brain starts working on next year so something obviously switches after opening night.”
The challenging aspect of playing to Townsville is that as an audience it is close to the audience Shakespeare played to.
“I love Townsville audiences, I love their purity. I think they’re hard to win over particularly in something like a tragedy. They tend to enjoy their entertainment value kind of theatre. Townsville audiences feel like as close to what I think Shakespeares real audience would have felt like. Because they weren’t reverent about him, in his day. So if they didn’t like what he was doing they’d leave. You can be doing an amazing version of Hamlet but if you haven’t connected with that guy who’s hearing the Cowboys game over there and would prefer to be over there. Then he’s just going to walk out and watch the cowboys game on his phone over there. Which one of them did tonight. But I love the challenge of keeping their focus and keeping them interested and invested in the story.”
Author Bio: ‘Hi, my name is Joel Sherwin and I am a journalism student at James Cook University, writing primarily about entertainment and community events. I have a passion for literature and aim to be a journalist/author.’
All photos by Chrissy Maguire firstname.lastname@example.org