melbourne festivals
Please, Continue (Hamlet): how a play highlights the inconsistency of justice
Hamlet is on trial for the murder of Polonius, but Shakespeare is less important here than the legal system itself
By Stephanie Convery

The outcomes are unnervingly variable: the show has been performed more than 150 times internationally; Hamlet has been acquitted in approximately half of those, and when he is found guilty, sentences have ranged from a couple of months to 15 years. In Australia at the time of writing, he had been acquitted three times with one hung jury. Judge Ray Finkelstein oversaw the performance I saw, with Sally Flynn and Rachel Ellyard acting for the prosecution, and Julian Burnside QC and Lucy Kirwan acting for the defence.

“What??… Listen, that’s all bullshit. It’s a gigantic, completely overblown bullshit from the, how they call it, the keyboard lions. They’re very courageous about throwing this kind of garbage, not having seen the movie, from their judgmental point of view, somewhere, on their keyboards. I’d say that when things like that are spoken out, they talk of the person that pronounces them more than the topic they’re talking about. I’d worry about the people saying these things more than about what’s in the film. And by the way, if they had seen the film, they’d see how strong and powerful Elio is in the movie, and he’s 17 and Oliver is 24.” - Luca Guadagnino, talking about Oliver being accused of p*, last friday during the Melbourne Film Festival.