UJ’s multi-award winning playwright and performer reprises lead role in iHAMLET

Multi-award winning playwright, performer and Head of UJ Arts & Culture, Ashraf Johaardien, will reprise his role as Hamlet in the critically acclaimed production of iHAMLET: Shakespeare’s longest play, condensed into just 60 minutes which high school learners can look forward to.


The production marks a new partnership between DALRO (The Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation) and UJ Arts & Culture: Advancement. With flashes of Hamlet’s wild wit and playful humour, this unique version of the play was adapted by Robin Malan and unfolds entirely from Hamlet’s perspective and is performed by one actor. Tracking the Prince’s transition from deep melancholy to unhinged passion; and charting the course of real and feigned madness from overwhelming grief to seething rage, the play explores themes of treachery, revenge, incest, integrity and moral corruption.
When the adaptation was first presented in Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2012, critics celebrated the production as “bold”, “innovative”, “brave” and “challenging”.The headline of a review by Jennifer de Klerk, editor of Artslink.co.za, rated the production as a “compelling” experience. “It was a riveting and challenging piece of theatre, carefully thought-out, meticulously crafted, every word spoken with conviction and understanding,” she wrote.
These sentiments were echoed in another review by freelance arts journalist Moira de Swardt who wrote: “In South Africa’s current theatrical climate there are so few theatre creatives and producers taking risks of any sort.
Audiences are being fed a diet of musical tributes, old favourites, staple dance routines and pretty circuses. This work, iHAMLET, doesn’t fall into any of those categories. It is challenging theatre, both for the creative team and for the audience,” and she added that this production, directed by Jade Bowers is “good theatre craft courageously presented.”
According to UJ Arts & Culture Producer, Grace Meadows, “In the current financial climate, smart partnerships like these are essential as they increase our capacity to service our constituency and they create tangible benefits for all the partners involved. Jade Bowers Design & Management are producing the IEB Schools tour in partnership with DALRO, creating a perfect vehicle UJ continue the conversation we started with high schools when we toured ‘Romeo ‘n Juliet Unplugged’ last year.”
Teachers wishing to book a performance for their learners can contact DALRO Theatricals on 011 712 8330. Alternatively, send email enquiries to theatricals@dalro.co.za. Note that schools do not necessarily have to have their own theatre space to book a performance; a gym, hall or other suitable area where the play can be comfortably performed and learners can be seated is all that is required. A charge of R40 per learner is applicable with a minimum booking of 200 learners.This price also includes a discussion and notes for each learner after the performance and a workshop for the staff on DALRO, copyright and how to license shows and musicals.




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