THIS IS interesting from the Royal Exchange.
We loved Maxine Peake with her Masque of Anarchy performance during Manchester International Festival. Now this superb actress is taking on the role of Hamlet next year. Of course she’s a woman and Hamlet wasn’t as far as we know, so we can expect some theatrical gymnastics – although women have played Hamlet since the 1700s.
Peake will also be taking on a new role as Associate Artist at the Royal Exchange. No we don’t know what that means either.
Fortunately the rest of the article, from this sentence on, is from the Royal Exchange press release and explains exactly what an Associate Artist is.
Acclaimed theatre and television actress Maxine Peake is to join Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre as an Associate Artist in autumn 2014 and will star in a radical re-imagining of Hamlet directed by Royal Exchange Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom. It will be the first of a number of exciting creative collaborations with the theatre.
I am so excited how gender swapping can affect and throw up new ways of looking at this theatrical masterpiece
Her role as Associate Artist will draw on her considerable talents as one of the nation’s best-loved actors and also as an increasingly exciting writer. It will include opportunities for her to get involved in the theatre’s pioneering work with community groups and young people - and work with young actors from across the city.
The appointment is the development of a longstanding relationship with the Royal Exchange which has already seen collaborations on a number of acclaimed productions including Rutherford and Son, The Children’s Hour and, most recently, Miss Julie.
The role of Hamlet will reunite her with Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom, following the huge success of The Masque of Anarchy, Shelley’s epic poem written in the wake of the Peterloo Massacre, which was performed to over 6,000 people as part of this year’s Manchester International Festival.
Maxine’s many TV credits include Silk, The Village, Red Riding and Myra Hindley in See No Evil. She was BAFTA nominated for her performance in Hancock and Joan. Her first radio play Beryl was nominated for a Sony Award earlier this year and her second radio play Queens of the Coal Age airs on Radio 4 in early November.
Maxine Peake said: "Sarah and I have looked for a project that would stretch and excite us and Hamlet just seemed the the next natural step to challenge us both in so many ways. I am so excited how gender swapping can affect and throw up new ways of looking at this theatrical masterpiece; then to be asked to join the Exchange as an Artistic Associate was just the cherry on the cake.
“I am so honoured to be part of this building’s future for a little while, especially in this climate of savage cuts when more than ever we need to support our wonderful regional theatres. I feel no need to compete with London - more than ever local people need a voice and a creative outlet in these extreme times and I feel the Exchange has a huge role to play in that."
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