Performance Studies: ‘Hamlet’s Hereditary Queen’ book launch
Hamlet’s Hereditary Queen book launch
Kerrie Roberts’ Hamlet’s Hereditary Queen is based on a postgraduate dissertation done at the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney, 2016-2021. It was published by Routledge UK at the end of 2022.
The book makes the academic case that Gertrude may very well be the blood royal queen in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and that she could certainly be performed as such in a modern production. This choice adds interest and power and solves many of the confusing elements in productions. The book makes use of early modern history, the source material Shakespeare used, and the evidence in the text itself.
The basic claim is so simple that some time is spent in the book analysing some of the complexities of the standard interpretation and the patterns of misogyny revealed in that. It also examines the role of the acting process as it was used, and relevance of the life experience of the older woman, especially the complexities of female leadership in a misogynist society, but also the challenges of dealing with a difficult son.
The EMLAC presentation will tell the story of how the project came about and cover the main points at an introductory level.
Kerrie Roberts has a background in acting, directing, and teaching. Her adaptation, Gertrude’s Hamlet, was written in 2009-2010 and produced at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre in Canberra in 2011. She is now looking to publicise the concept of Gertrude as the blood royal queen in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and get some productions up and running, to see how the idea pans out on stage, and how varied the choices can be. Any suggestions are welcome.
For more information on both the book and the play, including where to get them, see https://kroberts.au/hhq
Woolley Common Room (N480),
John Woolley Building, Science Road,
or join online via Zoom.