Gertrude and Claudius

Barrington Stage Company

Puppet Design and Fabrication

A provocative prequel to Hamlet, Mark St. Germain's "Gertrude and Claudius" is based on the novel by John Updike. Directed by Julianne Boyd, Artistic Director of Barrington Stage Company, Brandon Hardy created the Puppetry for the play's pivotal Falconry sequence. Claudius introduces Gertrude to his collection of birds and demonstrates the nature of their training, tension of Act 1 culminating in a complex illusion where the birds appeared to take flight over the stage. 

Research for this sequence included visiting a real Falconer with the production to see how such birds behave in person and ensure that the art of Falconry was depicted with verisimilitude for the Birds and their accessories. Pains were also taken to craft realistic-looking Birds without the use of any feathers, out of respect for the beautiful creatures the puppets were designed to emulate.