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Polonius is a bit of Joy coming from this production of Hamlet

Joy Robert lo res copyRobert Joy stars as Polonius in the upcoming STC production of "Hamlet." COURTESY PHOTO William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” which many consider the greatest play in the English language, of course focuses on the title character. Hamlet returns from university after the sudden death of his father, the King of Denmark, to find his uncle now on the throne married to his mother – and encounters his father’s ghost who reveals he was murdered and urges Hamlet to take revenge.

But the play is rich in other complex characters, including Polonius. Adviser to the current king, as he was to the late monarch, Polonius is also the father of Ophelia, Hamlet’s erstwhile love interest, and Laertes, who was Hamlet’s friend.

Polonius gives us a famous speech, which appears fatuous on the surface, yet offers such wisdom as: “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

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Center Stage: Superb and tension-filled 'Hamlet' explodes in Olney

NP Hamlet3Hamlet as staged in Olney brings a unique sense of tension. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

OLNEY – This upcoming weekend is the last chance to see Olney Theatre Centre’s free production of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” performed by the National Players.

The National Players are an Olney Theatre-based touring company celebrating nearly 68 years of performances.

Scenic Designer Paige Hathaway’s set is both practical and inventive.

The backdrop appears to be an assortment of wooden cabinets stacked on top of each other, with fold-out paintings and tables that emphasize the actors’ dialogue while creating a sense of immersion.  

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