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
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 3 WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
- 4 Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
- 5 Germanwings plane crash: I have depression. That doesn't make me a psychopath
Cassetteboy joins forces with Russell Brand for Emperor's New Clothes film
Poldark, review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity, TV review: The affable Englishman routine is wearing a bit thin
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew