A Kind of HAMLET: Parallels Between HAMLET and FAT HAM

James Ijames has made several of his plays as adaptations or responses to other pieces. For Fat Ham, he turned his curiosity to one of the most famous and influential plays of the English language: Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet.  

If you’re a hardcore Shakespeare nerd, you’ll find plenty of gifts and provocations in here. If you’re newer to Hamlet, here are a few things to keep an eye (and ear) out for:  

—Monica Flory 

James Ijames on choosing to adapt Hamlet:  

“I always think of Hamlet as a Cain and Abel story: the story of a sibling killing their sibling to get ahead. Anybody can relate to that; that’s a [narrative] that you inherit and moves with you through generations. And the younger folks in the play have to make some decisions about whether or not they want to continue that, whether that’s what they want their lives to look like and their relationships to each other to look like. I’m calling into question the stories that we’ve been passed down as wisdom. Because sometimes it’s wisdom, but more and more I look at those stories as cautionary tales of what you shouldn’t do. Vengeance isn’t gonna help Juicy. Killing his uncle is not gonna help Juicy’s life get any better.”