Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Are Stars and Shakespeare a match made in heaven – or, as Hamlet puts it, "the other place"?

We'll soon find out: The melancholy Canadian indie popsters are partners in a new musical project inspired by the melancholy Dane being developed by the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, The Globe and Mail has learned.

Stars lead singer and songwriter Torquil Campbell is collaborating with novelist Ann-Marie MacDonald and director Alisa Palmer on what is being described as a "meditation on Hamlet." The as-of-yet-untitled show – less a musical than a metaphysical cabaret – will draw its tunes from Stars' back catalogue, and may also feature new ones wrought by Campbell.

Story continues below advertisement

The work-in-progress had a secret workshop presentation on the weekend in Stratford, Ont., bringing together Festival actors with Campbell and multi-instrumentalist Julian Brown of Apostle of Hustle and Feist's band.

Canadian pop and Hamlet do not have a sterling history (see 1976's Broadway pop-opera flop Rockabye Hamlet), but Stratford and Stars do.

Forty-year-old Campbell, who performed there as a child, is part of a Southern Ontario theatrical dynasty – his father, the late Douglas Campbell, was in Stratford's first season in the tent and a frequent Falstaff thereafter; his half-brother is Shaw Festival star Benedict Campbell; his wife is Shaw sexpot Moya O'Connell.

Torquil Campbell has imported a Stratford-bred theatrical and literary sensibility – not to mention extremely clear enunciation – to his music career. Indeed, with songs about suicide (Do You Want To Die Together?) and delayed revenge (He Lied About Death), he arguably could be said to be the Hamlet of Canadian indie rock – with Stars co-front person Amy Millan as his Ophelia.

I, for one, can't wait to see the result of this collab, even (especially?) if it involves the ghost of Hamlet's father singing, I Died So I Could Haunt You.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies