Project Description

Little Earthquake shakes up Shakespeare with a gently comic response to questions of cultural identity and classical tradition – and a few pointers on how to spake proper.




commissioned by

as part of

based on the play

Timed to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Yamlet relocates sections of his most famous tragedy to the West Midlands. With the support of local authors, linguists and residents, key speeches from the play have been translated into Black Country dialect which proves every bit as poetic as the Bard’s blank verse.
With a skull in his hand and a ruff round his neck, Stourbridge-based actor Stuart Ash will take to the streets of Cradley Heath as Yamlet for a series of short pop-up performances which will be shared on social media networks (including Facebook, Twitter, and of course, InstaYam and YowTube) and as part of a special Where’s Our Spake Gone? event in April.


Yamlet | Stuart Ash


Director & Adapter | Philip Holyman
Writer | William Shakespeare
Film Production | Lee Comley
Costume | Kay Wilton at Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Dialect Consultant | Dave Reeves

With massive thanks to Geoff Broadway and Juanita Williams for awarding us a Where’s Our Spake Gone? bursary and to the Tuckley family for their decades of dialect inspiration and preservation.


Co-Directors | Gareth Nicholls and Philip Holymam

YAMLET: Megamix

A whistle-stop tour of Yamlet’s poetic journey around Cradley Heath, featuring all fourteen films (which can be viewed individually below). It was screened as part of the Where’s Our Spake Gone? end-of-project event and book launch at Dudley Archives in July 2016.

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YAMLET: Act 1, Scene 2 — Pies

Yamlet talks about how quickly his Mom got married to his uncle after his Dad had died — using pies to make his point (a perfect Black Country image if ever there was one.)

“The funeral bak’d meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.”
(Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 2)

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YAMLET: Act 1, Scene 2 — Azem Jazem

Yamlet tries to make himself stop wallowing in grief over his Dad’s death.

“But to persever
In obstinate condolement is a course
Of impious stubbornness.”
(Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 2)

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YAMLET: Act 1, Scene 2 — Me Ode Mon

Yamlet reacts to news about sightings of his Dad’s ghost in a down-to-earth Black Country way.

“My father’s spirit — in arms! All is not well.”
(Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 2)

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YAMLET: Act 1, Scene 4 — Gerrin Ka-lied

Yamlet objects to the way people from his part of the world are looked down upon by others.

“This heavy-headed revel east and west
Makes us traduc’d and tax’d of other nations —
They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase
Soil our addition.”
(Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 4)

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YAMLET: Act 1, Scene 3 — Borrer

Yamlet explains why he won’t be lending his lawnmower to the selfish man next door.

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be.”
(Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 3)

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YAMLET: Act 1, Scene 4 — Royal Dayin

Yamlet tries to get some kind of response out of his Dad’s ghost.

“Thou com’st in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to thee. I’ll call thee Hamlet,
King, father, royal Dane! O answer me!”
(Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 4)

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YAMLET: Act 3, Scene 1 — Stop Ivverin

Yamlet decides not to kill himself by skipping a 33-line speech and giving himself a single line of Black Country common sense.

“To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die — to sleep,
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to: ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream — ay, there’s the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause — there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of dispriz’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.”
(Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 1)

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YAMLET: Act 3, Scene 2 — Spake It Proper

Yamlet takes his role as director very seriously, and doesn’t want the actors to give an over-the-top performance.

“Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines.”
(Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 2)

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YAMLET: Act 3, Scene 4 — A Rot

Yamlet is startled by a noise.

“How now? A rat? Dead for a ducat, dead!”
(Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 4)

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YAMLET: Act 3, Scene 4 — Pig At A Tater

Yamlet wants to show how disgusted he is about what his Mom gets up to with THAT MAN.

“Nay, but to live
In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,
Stew’d in corruption, honeying and making love
Over the nasty sty!”
(Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 4)

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YAMLET: Act 3, Scene 4 — Yampy Kid

Yamlet wants to prepare himself for the bollocking his Dad is about to give him.

“Do you not come your tardy son to chide?”
(Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 4)

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YAMLET: Act 3, Scene 4 — Cruel Fust

Yamlet makes it clear that in order to make things better, he has done a bad thing and will have to do much worse afterwards.

“I must be cruel only to be kind.
Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.”
(Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 4)

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