top of page


Presented in association with the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, Artscape, Artscape, Pieter Toerien and the International Shakespeare Festival, Craiova

Playwright: William Shakespeare

Direction & Set Design: Fred Abrahamse

Costume Design: Marcel Meyer

Lighting Design: Faheem Bardien

Soundscape: Charl-Johan Lingenfelder

Photography: Fiona MacPherson & Pat Bromilow-Downing

2015 Cast: Marcel Meyer, Nicholas Dallas, Dean Balie, Callum Tilbury, Matthew Baldwin, Jeremy Richards

2016 & 2017 Cast: Marcel Meyer, Michael Richard, Dean Balie, Callum Tilbury, Matthew Baldwin, Jeremy Richards

2018 Cast: Marcel Meyer, Michael Richard, Dean Balie, Tristan de Beer, Matthew Baldwin, Jeremy Richards

2019 Cast: Marcel Meyer, Andrew Laubscher, Dean Balie, David Viviers, Matthew Baldwin, Jeremy Richards

2022 Cast: Marcel Meyer, Michael Richard, Taylin Ramsamy, Lungile Lallie, Matthew Baldwin, Jeremy Richard

Venues & Dates:  National Arts Festival, Grahamstown [2015] The International Shakespeare Festival, Craiova, Romania [2016], Theatre on The Bay [2017], Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre [2017], Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival [2017] Artscape Theatre [2018 & 2019], Artscape Theatre [2022], HamletScenen, Kronberg Castle, Elsinore, Denmark [2022]

About: One of the earliest recorded performances of Hamlet, during Shakespeare’s lifetime, took place off the East Coast of South Africa when, in 1608, the crew of the East India Ship, Red Dragon performed Hamlet aboard their ship. This historic performance serves as the inspiration for this production.

Hamlet abounds with images of theatre, acting and actors. This production develops the meta-theatricality of Hamlet even further:  6 actors play 6 Jacobean sailors who, in turn, play all the parts in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Making it a play, within a play, within a play.

What the Press said:

“Most people have seen a passable production, but few have witnessed its full glory in live performance. I thought I had seen a decent Hamlet before, but Abrahamse & Meyer Production’s Hamlet made my other viewing experience seem amateur by comparison. The excellent performances, innovative interpretations of the text, and bold design choices all came together to create a transcendent production that I will not soon forget.” HUFFINGTON POST

“Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as produced by Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyer, was of world-class standard; right up to the standard of those actors who perform at the Old Vic and indeed the Royal Shakespeare Company.” THE ANNOUNCER

“The production was riveting. The cast of six male actors filled the stage with unqualified magnitude, creating genuine relationships and passionate moments. Marcel Meyer’s Hamlet was profound and powerful. Director Fred Abrahamse’s interpretation of the ghost of Hamlet’s father was truly brilliant. When the ghost appears, he possesses Hamlet and speaks through him. This jaw dropping scene defines Hamlet’s ‘madness’.”

“A sheer masterpiece…Will take your breath away” MY VIEW

“Superb…Excellent…A towering performance…Imaginative, inventive, interesting” CAPE TIMES

“A triumph” CITY PRESS

“mesmerising” THE DAILY MAVERICK

“maritime masterpiece…tour-de-force…A stroke of genius…not likely to be forgotten soon” CAPE ARGUS

“a remarkable feat…an emotional roller-coaster…astounding” WHAT’S ON IN CAPE TOWN

“innovative…the language reigns supreme…this production is a must see” –ARTSVARK

“nuanced…striking and special” THE CITIZEN


Best Costume Design – Marcel Meyer [nomination]

Best Set Design – Fred Abrahamse [nomination]

Best Ensemble – The cast of Hamlet [nomination]

Best Production for Young Audiences [age 11 – 18] [nomination]

02 HAMLET Marcel Meyer as Hamlet photo by Fiona MacPherson (1983x2000).jpg
bottom of page