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Picture of the Month - October 2011

October’s Picture of the Month celebrates Halloween with a suitably ghoulish image from Michael Boyd’s 2004 production of Hamlet, featuring a truly scary ghost.

Helen Hargest
Hamlet Ghost 2004
Old Hamlet, a soul in real torment, looking to his son to avenge his death and help him escape from Purgatory.

October’s Picture of the Month celebrates Halloween with a suitably ghoulish image from Michael Boyd’s 2004 production of Hamlet, featuring a truly scary ghost. This old Hamlet was no upright soldier and father figure, as he is often portrayed, but a soul in real torment, looking to his son to avenge his death and help him escape from Purgatory. Old Hamlet, as portrayed by Greg Hicks was “a bowed, deathly-white, half-naked spook, with hollow red sockets for eyes” (Paul Taylor, The Independent), who dragged a heavy broad sword noisily along the stage. Hamlet, played by Toby Stephens, was certainly justified in exclaiming “Angels and ministers of grace defend us! Be thou a spirit of health or goblin dammed,” when he first met his father.  Audiences too were scared of  old Hamlet, who had the appearance of a spectral samurai combined with one of Beckett’s sad characters. A genuinely nightmarish apparition who stole the show!