Borders actor brings home a Celtic vision of Hamlet

GALASHIELS actor Grant O'Rourke heads a strong Scottish cast who will add a modern Celtic twist to the powerful Shakespearean classic Hamlet at Peebles' Eastgate Theatre on Friday, March 12.

O’Rourke, a former member of Borders Youth Theatre, has been dubbed “one of Scotland’s most exciting stars” by the group behind the production, Rapture Theatre.

He has made a series of minor TV appearances, including roles in BBC sitcoms How Not To Live Your Life and Still Game.

The former student of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama has plenty of stage experience, including a performance with the Selkirk-based Rowan Tree Theatre Company in Hermiston which was described as “stunning” by the Edinburgh Evening News.

He appeared in Shakespeare’s Othello last year at Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre

In Hamlet, O’Rourke plays the title role, while well know Glasgow actor Dave Anderson performs as Hamlet’s father.

Valerie Gogan, Ali Craig and Emily Jane Boyle are also taking roles in Hamlet. Gogan starred with John Malkovich in Dangerous Liaisons, and appeared in BBC drama’s David Copperfield and Hamish Macbeth. Craig has starred on stage, screen and across the airwaves with the National Theatre of Scotland’s controversial play Black Watch, and Boyle was in the Scottish TV drama Cracked.

David Tarkenter, star of Rapture’s hit production Betrayal, Alan Steele, Lyn McAndrew, Mike Tibbetts and Donald Munro complete the 10 strong company.

The production by acclaimed director Michael Emans is set in the contemporary Glasgow underworld, where Hamlet is caught between the idealistic world of his university, and the terror and death that his criminal family represent.

When his father dies and his ghost confronts him, he has to choose between family lies and world truths, the past and the future, life and death.

Emans said: “Hamlet is one of the most exciting plays in the canon. I want to thrill audiences with Rapture’s modern take on this play in the same way it thrilled audiences in Shakespeare’s day.

“This is a production for those who love theatre, those that love thrillers and those that love Hamlet.

“It also raises mental health awareness as it deals with a man who is suffering from a form of depression.”

It has already appeared at Greenwich Theatre in London as part of a 15 date tour and concludes in Livingston later this month.

The show is designed by Lyn McAndrew and production features lighting designs by acclaimed opera and theatre designer David Cunningham.

Tickets cost 12 (10) for Hamlet, which starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from 0 1721 725777.