Breaking the space 

We were given the task ‘Breaking the Space’ to help us begin to develop a concept for our speculative design project on Hamlet.

We had to bring in found materials or objects and place them in our Nottingham Playhouse model box considering themes relating to Hamlet.

I found some cogs in a magazine, cut them out and stuck them to some card to make them sturdier. I liked the idea of cogs as machines move and turn just as the cogs in the mind do. 


Hamlet and Ophelia both talk of madness and betrayal. I hung up the cogs in my model box and started to play around with a hierarchy idea so that when one cog was on stage the others couldn’t be reflecting the society in Hamlet. 


This idea was only a starting point to fulfill the requirements of the task but it then became the foundations of my design.

I like that circles can represent strength, a bond, the family unit. What happens when the circle is broken, damaged? How strong was the material in the first place? 

Do the circles represent different characters? What happens when they interlink (incest, betrayal) 

I then decided to make my own rings using wire, twisting it wrong circular objects to explore and develop my idea further with a more malleable material than the magazine clippings.


I played around with different sizes and used a mixture of silver and green wire because I liked the hints of colour (representing nature perhaps) 

This task has really helped me to establish a minimalist, symbolic concept that I can now develop.

Claudius – Character exploration 

We have just begun our speculative design project on Hamlet by William Shakespeare that will take us to the end of this term. In order to develop our understanding of the themes and characters in the play we are going to explore a character through a group task.

Task

  • Create a video
  • 3 minutes long
  • Based on a prose we have written about our character
  • Prose maximum 500 words
  • A story outside of the given text
  • Delve into character’s personality, motives etc.

Our group had to explore the character Claudius, Hamlet’s Uncle and the newly appointed King of Denmark after Hamlet’s father (his brother) died. 

I thought he’d be an interesting character to explore because he killed King Hamlet and took Gertrude (Hamlet’s mother) for his wife. We wanted to explore his jealous, deceptive character and so we decided to write a prose about his childhood and the sibling rivalry between Claudius and Hamlet. We decided to put a spin on our prequel to ‘Hamlet’ and tell the story of how Hamlet was the bad one who stole Claudius’ true love and position as King making Claudius’ angry and in need of revenge.

We used objects to tell the story…

Claudius – a silver chalice

Gertrude – a teacup

Both similar objects that hold water – symbolising their love and fertility, they are meant to be together

Hamlet (senior) – a wooden painted mask

He is false, hiding behind a mask


I really enjoyed making the video because it was a fun, practical way of exploring the characters. We set a lot of the video in the arboretum park (the castle of Elsinore’s grounds) and spoke the prose over the video whilst the objects were in the shot.

I think next time we do this it would be better to use a good quality camera and perhaps use a wider range of filming locations. However it helped us understand the characters better and use our imagination to explore motives and themes.