Winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, James Ijames' Fat Ham reinvents Shakespeare's masterpiece in startling and hilarious ways amidst the backdrop of a family barbecue in the American South.
Juicy is a queer, Southern college kid, already grappling with some serious questions of identity, when the ghost of his father shows up in their backyard, demanding that Juicy avenge his murder. It feels like a familiar story to Juicy, well-versed in Hamlet’s woes. What’s different is Juicy himself, a sensitive and self-aware young Black man trying to break the cycles of trauma, violence, and toxic masculinity in service of his own liberation. From an uproarious family barbecue emerges a vibrant and compelling examination of love and loss, pain and joy.
"A funny, poignant play that deftly transposes Hamlet to a family barbecue in the American South to grapple with questions of identity, kinship, responsibility, and honesty." —Pulitzer Prize Committee
"James Ijames’s outstanding transformation of Shakespeare’s tragedy into a play about Black masculinity and queerness, both echoes Hamlet and finds a language beyond it...the effect is stunning, making the play a living text, moving between Hamlet, the story happening on the stage and the world beyond the fourth wall." —The New York Times
"Fat Ham is brilliantly alive, a true tragicomedy (or a very, very funny tragedy) and an exuberantly metatheatrical dialogue with Shakespeare, America, and toxic masculinity, all at once." —Exeunt
"A fresh and vital force." —New Yorker
"Momentous and remarkable...a masterpiece." —Theatermania