Madman William explores the idea of William Shakespeare's plays from the perspective of his characters, including Macbeth, King Lear and Hamlet. What if these very characters met in a tavern every year and were tired of how they were always chosen for performances, wanting to escape the nightmare they found themselves in.
fast-paced comedy and the right amount of drama
This short film showcased not only the plethora of talent on show, but the creative artistic eye of Stacey Haber as she made sure this project was shot in a style that was reminiscent of the black and white era, yet had a modern feel to it as the 1600's and the modern world collided in an unusual dream-like state that challenged the viewer's perceptions of what was reality and what wasn't. If these characters did exist, what would they say? With the perceptive writing of Naomi Clare Wallace, perfectly fusing modern and Shakespearian language in such a way that it felt natural to listen to. The dynamic created between each character became entertaining and enthralling too - especially when Macbeth (Duncan Campbell) 'accidentally' forgot his lines and had to have help from Hamlet (Jack Lee) to remember his Tomorrow, and tomorrow speech. When he got tormented by both Hamlet and King Lear (Graham Elwell), it added a charming human aspect to the proceedings and we could imagine these three men as friends meeting up every year with these subtle touches.
Shakespeare and Hathaway (Edward Cherry and Stacey Haber) have a lovely on-screen relationship as Shakespeare suffers sleepless nights trying to find inspiration to write, with Hathaway at the end of her tether as she tries to encourage him to sleep. They connect in such a way to encourage empathy with both characters as they try to find a happy medium.
Joe Swift as Mercutio livened up the tavern sequences as he dazzles and charms his way into everyone's minds and hearts, whilst Racheal Sparks seamlessly played many
side characters, such as the long suffering bar tender, a doctor and the ever spritely Puck keeping an eye on all proceedings. Between these two, they created a memorable performance that brought an inner sparkle to the doom and gloom comically shown here.
With high energy, fast-paced comedy and the right amount of drama, Madman William brought a new twist to mental health when the mind and body get tired.