Seriously, if you have time between NOW and Sun, and if you are in the DC-metro area, GO GET TICKETS to the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s staging of Hamlet. Oh. Did I mention that it is FREE? Note: The play is staged at the amphitheatre (OPEN AIR!) at Rock Creek Park, and not at their theatres downtown.
Now, for the play itself. I thought it was very well-staged. Minimalistic (as all stages tend to be these days), fluid (the walls move during the play for each different scene). The play itself has been updated to look as if the events took place in the mid 1960s? I think? Another testament to the timelessness of Shakespeare.
I thought the actors were good. Very good in fact. The direction a little haywire. I actually enjoyed the ‘funnier’ (yes, I know. Its a Shakespeare Tragedy) parts more than the infamous Hamlet soliloquays. Part of the reasoning, I think, is that Jeffrey Carlson plays Hamlet as if he was on crack or something but there was no hint of crack or angel dust. Seriously. The Ghost appearing, the madness. I think if they were going to update it, they really should have made him play Hamlet as a recovering (or trying to recover) drug addict. But that’s my opinion. Overall, Carlson as Hamlet was good. A tad over-dramatic. But then again, this is a Shakespeare play. IF you can’t be overdramatic, when else can you be? They kept the Ophelia soliloquay when she got all crazy after her father, Polonius died. LJ was like, I think they added that in! I don’t remember ever seeing it! HAH! Well, it was there in the original play. I read it. I learnt it. I PLAYED it. Its there. But most stage versions cut it out for time purposes. And Polonius was HILARIOUS.
I admit it. I love Hamlet. Each time I watch it, I learn something new from it. I want to direct it one day. I want to be one of the many directors who have attempted to tackle Hamlet. It will defeat me. Humiliate me, break me. But I will love it.
If you are in town. GO WATCH IT.