I’m a transgender woman – why shouldn’t I play Hamlet?

Emma Frankland’s Language is at Camden People’s theatre. She is the author of the piece. Photograph: Rosie Powell Photography

ps11This MIGHT be her too. From the Twitter account of an Emma Frankland: whose bio says: “Vintage lingerie blogger and seller of the cutest, most adorable vintage fashions, both online and at UK vintage fairs. See my blog.” Her blog is here.

I am a theatre-maker and performer. I am also a transgender woman with a classical acting training and background. Shakespeare played with gender all the time, but is there any chance of me being cast in a male or a female role in the future in a Shakespeare play, or any other production?

Last month, I was at the Marlborough theatre in Brighton, where I have been in residence as a guest artist of Pink Fringe: I’ve been provided with a bedroom, space to make a mess, and production and emotional support.

On my last night there was an event to celebrate the publishing of a new book – Brighton Trans*formed, which documents and interviews a group of transgender people from the city. Despite the warm crowd, many of those who shared their thoughts were visibly nervous. This was not a platform for professional speakers (though several of those who spoke were) but a community event. When asked why she had chosen to participate, one of the women said “If you are a trans woman then walking down the street becomes a political act. If you are given a platform to speak then I think as a trans person you must”…

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  • Trannies belong in mental institutions, not theaters.

  • Clausewitz

    You never really appreciate Shakespeare until you hear it in it’s original Klingon form.

  • eMan14

    I don’t have a problem with her playing the roll of a man in Shakespeare. Provided she earns the roll like anyone else. And provided the Director chooses her. I reserve the right to decide if I want to see it or not.
    Casting is an art.. or a science. I don’t always agree with witch actors are chosen to play certain rolls. Some choices are pleasant surprises.
    But God oh God, leave politics out of it.

  • ontario john

    Oh good, more teachers for Ontario.

  • kkruger71

    I forget, is a “transgender woman” a guy that wants to be a girl or a girl that wants to be a guy? Or do either one claim that title depending on their mood? And I am serious, does anyone know?

    • Gary

      A tempest in a B-cup. There’s the rub , for Wet dreams may cum ….must give menopause , there’s the respect. Who will bare thy Butt-Kiss.
      The undiscovered country of a penis lost , where no traveller returns…puzzle the will and lose they name of Action.

      CUT , that’s a rap.

  • Gary

    Just a minor up date to this Trans issue. I watch a BBC news feature where a young girls is now suing the State for her mental harm because the Health Care system didn’t stop her sex change when she was a he.
    She wants to go back to being a young man because of the mental stress , her Suit claims that he was not told of the risks for mental illness from the conflict inside and the isolation where no male her age are interested in her .

    But wait……. if he became a she and wants a male in her life, then the issue was that he was a Homosexual attracted to men but thought it would be nice to have a women’s body.
    Get ready for a huge Mental health bill in the near future as Trans people in Canada find out that it’s not so great as it was Cut-off to be. The big issue now in the USA is the teen children of same gender couples that are suing the Parent for child-abuse to deny them a 2-gender home because they feel cheated as a minority among their friends ( they aren’t being teased , they just feel excluded from the experience when they see two genders in love ).

    Maybe Wynne finally did something that has compassion behind it to legalize uthanasia so teens don’t have to go through a painful suicide to stop the mental torment inside them about sexual preference or which gender to be this decade.

  • Minicapt

    The answer to its question is “No”; had it been able to understand the claimed ‘classical acting training’ it received, it would have been performing Hamlet for years. Now it’s just trying to practice being a bitch.

    Cheers