20th anniversary performance of One Man Hamlet
Few people know what it’s like to tour with a solo performer, especially one ambitious enough to perform Shakespeare’s Hamlet solo.
Enter Ellen Arrand, playwright, teacher and wife of Clayton Jevne — the original solo Hamlet. She’s telling the story of her experience on the road in her new play Bear me Stiffly Up, being mounted alongside Jevne’s One Man Hamlet at Theatre Inconnu’s Little Fernwood Theatre.
“I saw him perform One Man Hamlet when it was a big success, before we were together,” says Arrand. Jevne toured the play with his first wife and it received great reviews.
When Arrand decided to accompany Jevne on his second North American tour, things were a little different. “It had very mixed reviews, things kept going wrong and it put some stress on our relationship.
“Then there was the closing down of the Shakespeare festival because funding got crushed, and the whole situation turned out to be a little bit of a nightmare,” Arrand says.
“The play is loosely based on that experience, but the two characters have different personalities than us. They are both artists — Kate is a visual artist, Philip is an actor. Kate tries to be upbeat, Philip gets more and more depressed and it finally takes its toll on her and it sort of blows up like the van,” Arrand says with a laugh.
“I’d say it’s more of a comedy than a drama, but there are some serious moments.” M
Bear Me Stiffly Up & One Man Hamlet at The Little Fernwood Theatre (1923 Fernwood). Preview: June 2 at 8pm. Plays June 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18 at 8pm, June 5, 12 at 2pm. $14 Regular/ $10 Students, Seniors, and the unwaged ticketrocket.org / 250.590.6291.