An Interview with Elliot Huxtable
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Elliot Huxtable, and I’m the artistic director of CSF, and directing this year’s Hamlet. I’ve directed many, many times with the festival, and was delighted when Ben asked me if I’d help take over the festival when he left. I’ve directed Midsummer, Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar and Antony & Cleopatra for CSF, as well as one hour versions of Much Ado and The Winter’s Tale
What made you interested in directing?
I’ve loved directing ever since I started at university. I think it started when I found a single play that I was passionate about, but couldn’t be in, and so I directed with the university drama society, T24. Then I found another, and another until it’s became a full-time obsession
What inspired you to choose this play- why this one in particular?
Hamlet is the biggest name Shakespeare that the Festival hasn’t performed, and I’ve always wanted to do it. However I’ve not considered myself (or the Festival) mature enough or ready to do the Dane justice. Now I think we are.
What do you think is unique about your production?
I think the unique selling point of the show is that in this production we will be portraying Hamlet as a character who is aware of his existence as a character within a play. Hamlet is often portrayed as a maudlin madman, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true. His actions make a lot of sense if you put the lens of self-awareness on Hamlet - if he knows that ultimately nothing he does matters, then his actions make a lot of sense.
Do you have particular favourite line/scene?
My favourite scene is the part where Polonius describes his acting career in amateur dramatics - he displays a hilarious lack of self awareness.
Why should people audition for your play/ and for CSF in general?
CSF is the most inclusive and welcoming company I’ve ever worked with, and everybody involved is passionate and kind. I’ve made some lifelong friends who I would not have met otherwise. You also get to create work with real artistic merit, whilst also performing in some of the most scenic spots around Canterbury.
What can audiences expect from your production?
I can tell you what they can’t expect - a normal version of Hamlet. This will hopefully subvert the audience’s expectations in a way that will keep them intrigued and entertained.