"I wish I enjoyed Shakespeare but it's just all a bit long, and wordy, and hammy, and confusing, and I never get to choose who plays the leading role"
Well, you're in luck!
Bloody Bawdy Villains, Berlin’s newest theatre troupe launches this Summer with an audacious, madcap version of HAMLET in which you, the audience choose who takes the role of the insane Dane!
Every night our Villains will employ all the powers bestowed on them by years of board-treading to win the audience over. Begging, cajoling and fighting for the lead role, these adorable idiots will do whatever they can to win the crowd. This is democratic Shakespeare and our actors are at your mercy. It all comes down to a vote and each night you decide who plays the lead role.
Expect chaos, charismatic characters, quick costume changes, and more than a healthy dose of audience participation.
So what do you need the money for?
Well, the physical production will take up a large chunk. We need to design and build a set, create and source costumes, and construct and purchase props. We need to pay for six weeks worth of rehearsal space (that's right, we're not doing this by halves!) and we also need to design and print marketing materials. Added to that, we need to eat. Everyone involved is devoting a huge amount of their time and energy to this project for little more than chicken feed so I think you'll agree we at least deserve organic, ethically sourced chicken feed!
Why should I fund you?
Because we're bringing something new and exciting to the world! Our creative team have oodles of experience bringing innovative, though-provoking, and thoroughly entertaining theatre to all the hemispheres. Having such a small cast means we can tour this production around Europe and indeed the world to places that would not normally get a chance to see original-language Shakespeare performed and we’re hoping the slightly ridiculous nature of what we’re doing will make it far more accessible, particularly to a younger audience.
So join us on this merry adventure, putting Hamlet into the hands of the people and bringing the Bard back to Berlin.
Rehearsals start 15th May for 6 weeks
Performance dates: 8pm on 27th & 28th June 2017 at Acker Stadt Palast
Meet the Villains
Nicole Ratjen is a Canadian born actor and director. After receiving her Bachelor degree in Toronto specializing in Theatre, Nicole furthered her training in Paris at Le École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, at The Center of Mask and Gestural Sculptures and the International Mask Museum in Italy, with Teatro Punto in Amsterdam and Clown with Phillipe Gaulier. In 2016 she joined the mask theatre company Theatre Fragile. As an actor and director she has worked on productions across Canada and throughout Europe. She can be seen regularly performing improv with Goodluck Barbara and as Rachel on the webseries Das Apartment. Nicole is currently based in Berlin and continues to develop and create new works for the screen and the stage. www.nicoleratjen.com
Ela Cosen was born to Turkish immigrants in the divided City of Berlin and raised in the Kreuzberg of the 80s. Years and years after the wall fell she left her beloved home for the metropolis of Bielefeld to study sociology. She kept moving, from Singapore to Bordeaux, to finally pursue her doctoral studies with a Fulbright scholarship in the USA. She came back to Berlin not quite a doctor, but a trained actress from the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York. Since her return from New York City she performed for various theatres like the Volksbühne Berlin and Schauspielhaus Hamburg, as well as “off-theatres”. She is a guest performer at Deutsches Theater Berlin, dances and teaches Butoh, and does voice-over work. Alongside her mother-tongues Turkish and German, she speaks English and French. She writes original material and her next projects include directing her own films, learning more languages and tackling Hamlet.
Damien Warren-Smith was born in the Scottish Highlands to Australian and English parents. He grew up in south-eastern Australia before moving to Sydney where he studied at the Actors Centre Australia. After graduating he moved to London and performed and devised with theatre companies such as Tall Stories, Nottingham Playhouse, Hull Truck, Catherine Wheels, and Theatre503. He also appeared on television in Law & Order: UK, The Persuasionists and Love my Way. In 2013 he studied in Paris with master clown teacher Philippe Gaulier, mentor to Geoffrey Rush, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Emma Thompson. He then created cult physical comedy troupe A Plague of Idiots and toured to some of the world’s biggest arts festivals. He now resides in Berlin where he writes and performs innovative and ridiculously funny theatre.
Lily Sykes is a British theatre director, living in Berlin. Her interest in German theatre began while studying German and Philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford, where she directed productions of Lulu and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. During her studies she spent a year living in Berlin and Munich, where she worked at the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Hebbel am Ufer theatre and Theaterdiscounter, both in Berlin. Post-university she trained with Philippe Gaulier in Paris, and there founded the international Theatre Ensemble “Aitherios”. The ensemble's first show The Fish is Open toured Cambridge, London, Berlin and Isfahan. From 2009 – 2012 she became a director's assistant at Schauspiel Frankfurt, where she regularly directed her own projects, including Die Bürgschaft, for which production the magazine Theater Heute nominated her as young director of the year. Since 2012 she has worked as a freelance director across Germany, for theatres including: Schauspiel Frankfurt; Deutsches Theater, Berlin; Schauspielhaus Zürich; Schauspielhaus Graz; Theater Oberhausen and Theater Osnabrück. Her production of The Secret Garden at Theater Oberhausen was invited to the Westwind Festival EndFragment
Friederike Meisel studied interior architecture at Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences and earned her diploma with emphasis on scenography and exhibition architecture. Afterwards, she worked as a freelance interior designer in Munich. In the 2009/2010 season, she was a freelance assistant at the Munich Volksstheater, from 2010 to 2013 fixed stage assistant at the Schauspiel Frankfurt. Since 2013 she has lived as a free-lance stage and costume designer in Berlin. She is also working for the advertising and music video productions. Theatre: Schauspiel Frankfurt, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Theater Osnabrück, Young Theater Göttingen, City Theater Bremerhaven, Theater Münster, Theater der Stadt Aalen www.friederikemeisel.com
Alice Popplewell hails from the distant shires of Somerset in the UK. She spent a happy year working towards her masters degree in Shakespeare Studies at King’s College London and the Globe Theatre, where she learned all there is to know about iambic feet and groundlings. Whilst there, she studied with Anne Thompson, general editor of the Arden Shakespeare Series and Hamlet whizz. She went on to work on Iris Theatre’s Twelfth Night in Covent Garden, before moving to the world of documentary filmmaking and spending the next year in and out of Kazakhstan. From there she upped sticks and moved to Berlin, where she works as Video Producer at Freunde von Freunden and is producing Bawdy Villains’ Hamlet.
Photographer - Johannes Greisle
Videographer - Arrigo Reuss
Costumes - Charlotte Ehrlicher & Marie von Federlin
Logo - Carl Clancy
Risks and challenges
There are always risks and challenges involved in launching a new theatre production and when you throw caution to the wind and give the audience such an important role you really can never tell what will happen. With a plethora of experience in improvisation and clown our company members are used to thinking on their toes. It would take a monumental hurricane to prevent this show from going ahead. Bring on the challenges!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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