She was one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragic heroines, but now the search for the real Ophelia has arrived in Leeds.
Later this month Howard Assembly Room will play host to the video installation, Five Truths. Created by Katie Mitchell, it’s the first time the work has been seen outside of London. Featuring 10 different screens, each playing the madness scene from Hamlet filmed in the style of five different theatre directors, from Stanislavski to Peter Brook, the free show comes direct from the V&A.
However, before the films start rolling, the curtain has just gone up on a new city-wide trail which retells the myth of Ophelia. Created by the Leeds-based interactive arts company, Invisible Flock, Who is Ophelia? takes participants to seven different locations in the city and with a little help from touch screens and text messages, each unlocks another part of the puzzle. The trail, which opened this week, will run throughout the duration of Five Truths and promises to haul Shakespeare’s heroine into the 21st-century. “We are absolutely thrilled to bring Katie Mitchell’s work to Leeds,” says Dominic Gray, projects director of Opera North. “It’s part of our commitment to opening our programme and venue to a whole new audience free of charge each year. Invisible Flock’s trail was commissioned to complement the work and will engage with audiences in new and surprising ways.”
A mini-series of film screenings at Hyde Park Picture House on the theme of Troubled Heroines is also planned to complement the Five Truths installation.
Who is Ophelia? runs to February 25. Five Truths opens on February 14. 0844 848 2727, www.operanorth.co.uk