Hamlet 16.30 (Aaron)


Adapted by Ben Murray-Watson


This year marks our seventh straight year performing at Brighton Open Air Theatre and the third year that we’ve attempted two productions on the same day.

Once again, on just one week’s rehearsal, Sam and Aaron will be placing their own creative take on our one hour script. I think Aaron’s aim is to take my scripts as far away from anything that was written as possible! But then, that in itself is very Shakespearean! Shakespeare didn’t write stage directions for a reason!

Hamlet is a hard play! There is quite a bit of political context around the original that doesn’t translate to the staging of a one-hour youth production. Therefore, a lot of that has been removed. Similarly, Shakespeare’s treatment of women is very much of its time and doesn’t fit with today’s thinking. Plus, the overall feel of the original tends to be very dark, with a lot of murders and a lot of moaning!

Therefore, I tried to create something a little lighter.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have fascinated writers throughout the years and so it felt natural to bring them in as the ‘narrator’ figures. My hope is that they provide a bit of light relief and clarity around the craziness!

But overall, these Shakespeare weeks are about fun and escapism for the young actors. They are a chance to play with a language that is at the heart of our theatrical history and to address Shakespeare’s writing in a way that it was meant – through performance.

I was lucky enough to have an English teacher who taught us Shakespeare by getting us out of our seats and ‘acting’. I have fallen in love with it ever since. The vision for these yearly weeks is to enable other young children and teenagers to equally embrace that love and to be inspired by the language and the theatricality that Shakespeare demands.

I am hugely grateful and delighted that we can bring together two amazing casts of young actors once more.

If you’d like to learn more about YAG or try out one of our term time weekly classes, then do take a look at our website. Enjoy the show!

Ben Murray-Watson, Founder, The Young Actors Group


HAMLET Stan Toyne

BERNARDO Honey Overton-Lemmon

FRANCISCO Rosa Overton-Lemmon

HORATIO Cass Sanches

MARCELLUS Amelie Deaville

CLAUDIUS Helena Bullen

GERTRUDE Daisy Stephens

POLONIUS Sebbie Hitchcock


OTHER GHOSTS Honey Overton-Lemmon, Felix Small, Amelie Deaville

OPHELIA Freya Jones

LAERTES Alex Hitchcock

ROSENCRANTZ (ROSIE) Lucy Murray-Watson


1st PLAYER Amelie Deaville

2nd PLAYER Honey Overton-Lemmon

OTHER PLAYERS Rosa Overton-Lemmon, Felix Small

A MESSENGER Rosa Overton-Lemmon



Director – Aaron Tonks

Assistant Director – Maya Cooper

Producer / Writer – Ben Murray-Watson

Movement Director – Shani Kantor

Set Design and Build – Daniel Staniforth

Design Assistant – Hazel Staniforth

Costume Designer – Maya Cooper

Costume Hire – Gladrags Community Costume

Special Thanks 

Father Felix Mascarenhas and Church of the Good Shepherd

Sarah Bullen, Helena Bullen and Daisy Griffin

Brighton Open Air Theatre

Every parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister and friend who are supporting their young actors today and throughout their lives.