This morning, we found a nice reminder of Holy City Shakespeare’s upcoming production of Hamlet waiting in our inbox. With the subject line “Join our Royals for a Celebration of Denmark’s Future!” it invited us to come celebrate the coronation of King Claudius and his marriage to Queen Gertrude (for those who are rusty on the plot, Claudius is the bad guy whom Hamlet believes killed his father, Claudius’ brother, so he could marry Hamlet’s mother Gertrude and become king). There’s a link to buy tickets and a political poster of Claudius with “For a Strong Denmark” printed on it. Cute, clever, etc., we thought.
But imagine our surprise when a few hours later we got another email from Holy City Shakespeare with the subject line “Don’t fall for his lies.” This one, it seems, comes from the rebel Hamlet and has “CORRUPT” spray-painted over the first email’s invitation to the coronation ceremony. We knew that HCS was emphasizing the play’s political thriller aspects, but we were impressed to see the theme taken this far.