Hamlet, theatre review: 'A fresh account in modern dress'
New Diorama, London
Friday 10 January 2014
This fresh, forceful, starkly staged account of Hamlet in modern dress kicks off the award-winning Faction's third annual rep season at the New Diorama where the same actors will also perform in Greek tragedy and Schiller.
The Shakespeare production boasts a casting coup. Mark Leipacher, its director, is writing the authorised biography of Simon Russell Beale and the great actor appears here as the ghost of Hamlet's father in a digitally recorded performance of brilliantly understated intensity and disgust that is eerily projected into the proceedings.
Jonny McPherson is impressive and in full technical command in the title role as he shifts between the floor-pounding emotional openness of the soliloquies and the mordant, wrong-footing mockery and compulsive funny voices of the hero's antic disposition.
I didn't feel, though, as one does with the greatest Hamlets, that the actor was also offering us a glimpse into his own soul.
Damian Lynch is too lightweight and youthful a presence to convince as Claudius, but Kate Sawyer vividly charts Gertrude's tormented unravelling and Derval Mellett is a quietly piercing Ophelia.
Not all the production's ideas work, though I liked the notion of doubling Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and the gravediggers who here pop up in the multi-purpose trunk.
To February 22; 020 7383 9034
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 2 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 Chaos breaks out in courtroom as father attacks killer of three-year-old daughter
- 5 I like Corbyn, but let's face it: we don't need another white man at the head of a political party
X Factor hopeful Mason Noise: 'How is Cheryl Fernandez-Versini in the music business, let alone a judge on the show?'
Trevor Noah, Edinburgh Fringe review: New Daily Show host warms up in inspired style
X Factor 2015: Ratings drop almost 2 million compared to last year's launch show
VMAs 2015: Kanye West runs for president, Nicki Minaj calls out Miley Cyrus and the list of winners in full
VMAs 2015: Taylor Swift and her buddy Kendrick Lamar clean-up at awards - full list of winners
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up