Actor and writer Edward Day, 31, is preparing Hamlet 64: Parody DLC, a version of Hamlet in the style of a computer game, for Swindon’s Shoebox Theatre. He aims to raise £3,000 toward the project through crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Edward lives in Sparcells and has been involved with theatre for many years.

DLC, AS any videogame lover knows, stands for Downloadable Content – something extra.

The extras in Edward Day’s new take on Hamlet include references to some of the videogame world’s greatest icons, from Mario to Minecraft.

There are also references to the Grand Theft Auto franchise, and new lyrics to classic soundtracks which will be familiar to anybody who has played computer or console games over the last quarter century or so.

Edward says the project reflects his thoughts about Shakespeare, video games and artificial cultural barriers.

“I do a lot of Shakespeare, and Shakespeare is really misunderstood. So often you get Shakespeare and it’s performed in a very august way – ‘Oh we’re doing Shakespeare’ – and people go and they say: ‘Oh, I’ve endured some Shakespeare. I didn’t follow it at all but that’s Shakespeare – you don’t understand it, you’re not supposed to enjoy it, you’re supposed to just go and you’ve taken part and you’re cultured.’

“There are a lot of people who see Shakespeare like that, and understandably because there are a lot of terrible productions.

“Then there’s a whole lot of people who view videogames in a similar ridiculous way, and say: ‘Oh my god, video games can’t be art, they’re just fodder for your mind, you just stare blindly like a zombie.’

“But there is so much beauty in games, so much philosophy, and it’s an art form like anything else.

“It’s like theatre or any of these things, where you get a whole mix of people coming together to create something beautiful – artists, writers, voice actors, composers and musicians.”

Edward, the son of a vicar and a home-maker, attended Bradon Forest School. He always enjoyed art and making things.

He discovered theatre at 14. “I didn’t really know it as a thing before that. I just hadn’t really thought about it. I was in a play at Bradon Forest.”

That was at the behest of David Calder, an inspirational drama teacher and important figure in the wider local arts world.

“He said: ‘Oh, you’re quite good at this – you should be in a play.’ I just did it and then did more and more.”

A BTEC in Performing Arts at New College followed, and then study at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in London. Edward also studied clowning and mime at the prestigious Ecole de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris.

A career in touring theatre followed and continues to this day.

Hamlet 64: Parody DLC is the second show he has created. The first, In the Surface of a Bubble, imagined a world in which imagination and logical truth are equally real. The piece won a great deal of praise.

And the inspiration for his latest project?

“Hamlet is something that’s very misunderstood, I think. Generally it tends to be a show about a famous actor doing a bunch of monologues that people kind of know. People go and see Benedict Cumberbatch or whoever is the big actor at the time do all those speeches, and there’s a bunch of stuff that happens in between but people don’t follow it very much.

“But the play, as it was in Shakespeare’s time, examines the human condition and our relationship to life and death, and struggling to cope with things, struggling to make choices.”

Edward draws a parallel between Hamlet and characters in certain videogames, because the choices they make – the choices made for them by the player - affect the rest of their lives and the whole of the story.

“He has all these moral dilemmas and really struggles to make choices. Videogame design is all about choice. In a book, you read and the words conjure up images in your head. In a film it’s all about pictures. Theatre is a very visual medium but traditionally it’s also an audio medium.

“A computer game has lots of those things - it’s got characters, it’s got graphics and music – but what a computer game is actually about is choice.

“That’s where you get great games that are very simple and great games that have complex storylines, like Bioshock, which is incredible for its story.

“But then you can get a game like Tetris which doesn’t have a story or anything but is also brilliant because it has loads of choices.

“The best games say, ‘here are some choices’ and then, like my favourite games, you’re making choices all the time. Do I do this, this or this? Do I choose this weapon, run down this road?

“They marry that with the story and make you question the choices you’re making, and it’s really fascinating.

“Hamlet is all about choice and videogames are all about choice. I’ve seen people try to do shows about videogames but it seems like all the ones I’ve seen were by people who’d never played a videogame before, because they just seemed to go by stereotypical tropes and things and didn’t really get to the heart of it.”

Edward is a great advocate of theatre, and especially more intimate community theatre.

“It’s a wonderful way for communities to come together. It’s a way for people in the community to express themselves.

“Theatre is a live thing. It’s in the moment and it exists only in that moment, which is quite magical.

“For me it’s the most wonderful thing in life, creating art, creating theatre. I just find it so much fun.”

Super Hamlet 64: Parody DLC will be performed at the Shoebox Theatre in Theatre Square on Saturday, May 27, at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. It will also be toured across the country.

Edward’s website is