Two hours and no intermission – how can you do it? The only other version of Hamlet that has ever made sense is the Kenneth Branagh movie and it ran four hours!
This production has been stripped down to the Revenge Tragedy components, eliminating the philosphical ruminations and the comic buts thrown in for the groundlings that exist in the full play.
What remains is fast paced and gripping. The staging with audience on two sides of a centre stage was effective – it suggested watching a sporting event, of a particularly violent and bloody nature.
The cast was fabulous, with one exception – Steven McCarthy – who played Horatio. He seemed too tentative and weak and never did figure out what to do with his cane.
Gordon Rand was brilliant as Hamlet, never mad and always angry. Benedict Campbell as Claudius was real and fully present and Eric Petersen was a nasty bully as Polonius, not the usual bumbling fool.
I loved this production and gave it a standing ovation!


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
This entry was posted in Gordon Rand, Necessary Angel, World Stage 2009. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hamlet

  1. Keith says:

    Okay, I didn't give it a standing ovation – but it was good. I liked the particular take on Polonius – it has always been hard to see how he rose to such a position if he is such a bumbler – and Claudius and Gertrude were real. I agree about Horatio, the cane and the priest's garb added nothing to the interpretation, at least with this actor/production. Most of the simplification from the shortening is beneficial but it does just reduce it to a revenge tragedy and Hamlet is a much less complex person, so less interesting.

  2. Keith says:

    Cast:Hamlet: Gord RandHoratio: Steven McCarthyGhost/Player King: Robert PersichiniGertrude: Laura de CarteretClaudius: Benedict CampbellGuildencrantz: Christopher MorrisPolonius: Eric PetersonOphelia: Tara NicodemoLaertes/Player Queen: Mac Fyfe

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