Hamlet | encore

Sunday August 25, 2024 at 2 pm at Bard on the Beach, MainStage, 1695 Whyte Avenue, Vancouver | View Map | Phone

A tragic saga of betrayal, murder and revenge

No play by Shakespeare has more meaningfully captivated us than Hamlet. A young prince returns home to mourn the death of his father only to uncover a dark secret he can’t ignore. His struggle to move forward with purpose awakens deep questions about life, existence, and if it’s better “To be or not to be.” As he attempts to make sense of a world that has shifted beneath him, we are invited to see ourselves in Hamlet and to consider the blurry lines around loyalty, self, and all the things that are in heaven and earth.

This matinee performance will be followed by a Touch Tour.


Bard offers VocalEye members a fantastic deal for described performances: one complimentary ticket plus 50% off an additional companion ticket. Please call 604-739-0559. Some restrictions apply.

Running time TBA

Adapted and Directed by Stephen Drover


The Story

“Adieu, Adieu, Hamlet. Remember Me” 

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, has returned home to Elsinore for his father’s funeral, only to learn that his mother, Gertrude, has married his uncle Claudius—and that Claudius is now King of Denmark. Disturbed by this turn of events, a melancholic Hamlet continues to mourn the loss of his father, much to the concern of King Claudius and Queen Gertrude.

When his friend Horatio brings news of a ghost that resembles the late King Hamlet wandering the grounds of Elsinore, Hamlet starts to realize that things may not be exactly as they seem. Hamlet resolves to try and catch a glimpse of the ghost for himself.

Elsewhere, Laertes, the son of Polonius, speaks with his sister Ophelia while preparing to return to France. He warns Ophelia to steer clear of Hamlet’s affections, and when Polonius overhears this and learns that Hamlet has been courting his daughter, he forbids Ophelia from spending any more time with Hamlet.

That evening, Hamlet, Horatio, and the watchman Marcellus wait outside, where the ghost reveals himself to Hamlet as his father’s spirit. He tells Hamlet that he was not killed in an accident, but rather, murdered by his brother Claudius, and asks Hamlet to avenge his death. Hamlet vows to seek revenge on Claudius and advises Horatio and Marcellus that he will “put on an antic disposition” and feign madness while he carries out his plan.

“Madness in great ones must not unwatched go”

The next day, Hamlet’s two former school friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive at Elsinore. Claudius has sent for them so that they can watch over Hamlet, whose strange behaviour has been noted by both Claudius and Gertrude, as well as by Ophelia and Polonius. Almost immediately, a group of musicians also arrive at Elsinore and Hamlet sees an opportunity to set his plan in motion. Hamlet asks the musicians to perform a song that mimics the events of his father’s murder, so he can watch Claudius’ reaction. When Claudius storms out in the middle of the performance, Hamlet believes that he has all the proof he needs of his uncle’s guilt.

What happens next is a tragic saga of betrayal, murder, political intrigue, and revenge that has captivated audiences for generations.