Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Globe To Globe :: Hamlet

At the insistence of the friends, I allowed myself to be dragged out to watch this new traveling (two-year tour to every country in the world) version of Shakespeare's Globe's 'Hamlet' directed by Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst.

From the start, the audience is alerted to the fact that this is, in fact, a show, that life itself is a show. This a much shorter production than Globe's usual plays at 2.5 hours. Capitol Theatre felt like an odd venue for the show. Acoustics weren't flattering. The actors weren't miked-up; their voices got lost often in the space. Otherwise, it was such a good production with minimum but effective stage props.

We know the story of 'Hamlet'. Some of us love it and others, like me, are still feeling tortured by it. Even as I appreciate the finer points of the play, I still cringe from memories of having had to regurgitate essays for it. Clearly, I don't quite fancy certain literature from that era, and not fully loving Shakespeare. This production is also not the only one I've seen. So what do I do at a play that's familiar? Check out the actors, except I've little to comment about their acting skills.

The cast is young, friendly and approachable. Totally perfect for a touring production. This is more than midway through their tour which is slated to end next April. The 10 talented and versatile actors (who each play up to three roles) have done so many shows that they're smooth, practiced and share great chemistry. Different actors played Hamlet. I'm not particularly bothered who played him. It rotated between Ladi Emeruwa and Naeem Hayat, and also in this staging, Matt Romain. My show lead was Ladi Emeruwa. He was excellent. I'm not bothered about who portrayed Hamlet 'right'. Each have got their own style, different voices, tones and built. Those lent an interesting dimension to the interpretation of rage and inner turmoil.

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