HAMLET - Staged on the page
The play's the thing
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King!
In this award-winning staging of Shakespeare's enigmatic play, Hamlet's struggles with truth, meaning, morality and action are brought to life in a riot of colour and visual acrobatics.
On a mission to avenge his father's murder, Prince Hamlet tries to claw free of the moral decay all around him. But in the ever-deepening nest of plots, and of plays within plays, nothing is what it seems. Doubt and betrayal torment Hamlet until he is propelled into a spiral of unstoppable violence.
And behind the scenes, another dark story of obsession and betrayal unfolds. The characters in Hamlet are actors - but can we ever know on which side of the stage reality lies?
"The finest thing about Shakespearean drama is that the work can be restaged for every generation, and in so many different ways. In Nicki Greenberg's version Hamlet is played by an inkblot with a crowquill in his scabbard. The settings sparkle; the interior of the castle has a decor of suspended clock parts, curious only until we realise that 'time is out of joint'.; Polonius pops in and out of a sheet of paper as he reads Hamlet's letter to Ophelia; and Ophelia walks us physically through the botanicals so we don't need opera glasses to follow the symbolism of the flowers. Greenberg's adaptation of The Great Gatsby was entirely in monochrome and it's exciting this time around to see her unpack a palette of riotous colour."
Joint Winner, 2011 Children's Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year
Shortlisted, 2010 Aurealis Awards - Best Illustrated Book/Graphic Novel
Allen & Unwin - web page for Hamlet
How this book was created - article on Readings Blog
In conversation with Shaun Tan at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas. Video
Working on Hamlet - article for the Wheeler Centre
Hamlet as an Inkblot - Interview on ABC Radio National. Audio/podcast
Interview - The New Yorker Cartoon Lounge blog
Review by Cameron Woodhead, The Age - newspaper article
Review by Cefn Ridout, The Australian - newspaper article
Teacher reviews and classroom notes, courtesy of Allen & Unwin - PDF file
"The Australian comic book renaissance" by Richard Watts, article on ArtsHub
Featured in "The best of 2010" - Paul Gravett