Three actors in black pose with a skull for a studio portrait against a dark backdrop.

Hotel Elsinore

Wednesday and Thursday, October 16, 2024 - October 17, 2024 | Polsky Theatre

Public show: Wednesday 7 p.m.
School show: Thursday 10 a.m.

School show tickets start at $5.
School groups: please contact the Box Office for reservations.

Public show tickets start at $25.
Season tickets on sale now. Individual shows on sale June 17.

Individual Tickets Season Tickets (Save 10-15% per show)

Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Denmark. It's 2 a.m. A hotel room. Three weary travelers, an unexpected will and a production of "Hamlet" to rehearse before morning. Winner of the Carol Tambor Incentive Award and chosen by the Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation to encourage new writing and live performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Real-life family – Susanna Hamnett, Joshua MacGregor and Lily MacGregor – play the bereaved family of the once-great actor Henry Elder, billed to perform his career-defining solo of Hamlet at the famous Elsinore Shakespeare Festival. But as they discover, Henry Elder is determined not to let anything as inconvenient as death prevent him from being there. With Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" as the pivot around which the family’s story revolves, the play is both absurd and poignant.

Written and performed by award-winning actor Susanna Hamnett, along with her son and daughter, this piece premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2022. It is the winner of the Carol Tambor Incentive Award, chosen by the Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation to encourage new writing and live performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Susanna Hamnett

Susanna Hamnett arrived at her acting career sideways – “rather like a crab” as director Christopher Morahan once observed, scrutinizing her resumé. Having graduated from Cambridge University in Russian and French, she then won scholarships to study acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, under the tutelage of renowned Shakespeare and voice coach Patsy Rodenburg, and worked professionally in England and Europe, as well as at the Moscow Arts Theatre School.

Discovering theatrical clowning for the first time through the work of Russian clown Slava Polunin, she set out to learn as much as possible about the art and moved to Toronto to study with master clowns John Turner and Michael Kennard (of “Mump and Smoot”), with whom she trained and collaborated extensively. She then began to develop and direct clown-influenced shows herself, exploring and evolving an approach that marries seemingly disparate disciplines – Shakespeare, clown, storytelling, dance, vaudeville, the serious, and the mischievous.

It is this approach and curiosity that also drives her work as an artist-educator, and she has worked in Canada and the U.S. with students of all ages and backgrounds, from university students to at-risk youth to school children as young as 6. She has been a part of Lincoln Center’s Aesthetic Education Program, and in 2012, the Kennedy Center’s Theatre for Young Audiences department in Washington, D.C., commissioned her to work on a new solo script, which she presented at New Visions New Voices the following year. In 2014, she was awarded the inaugural Colleen Porter Residency Award (IPAY), which took her to Australia and Tasmania.

Hamnett is passionate about creating work that is inspiring, meaningful, and entertaining for both young and adult audiences, and believes in the vital importance of intergenerational audience experiences. She lives in the UK and is creating a new performance with her two adult children.