My Hamlet, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh
Friday 27 August 2010
"Who's there?" cries Hamlet on the battlements of Elsinore, kick-starting the greatest revenge tragedy in the language. "Who's there?" cries Linda Marlowe as an old cleaning lady, sweeping up back stage.
This is as equally exciting an opening gambit as in the real thing: Marlowe's dislocated scrubber is possessed by the play, and the characters, as the ghosts of not only the dead king, but all the others, too, are manifest in the enveloping gloom.
Like John Gielgud in Peter Greenaway's Prospero's Books, Marlowe speaks all the lines, and her fevered imagination is fleshed out with a gallery of beautiful Georgian puppets, manipulated by their five black-clothed masters from Tblisi.
It's a great way of doing the play: you could argue that Hamlet sees all the others around him in the light of his own sickly vision anyway. But Marlowe adds her own signature athleticism to the event, spread-eagled over the mirror, stretched to breaking point, quivering with rage, disgust and unrequited passion.
You hardly notice that Horatio and Fortinbras are absent, or that Osric doesn't have a hat. There are dancing rodents in "The Mousetrap" play to catch the conscience of a king; a heart-breaking Ophelia, strewn with flowers; and an imperious Gertrude with the profile of Princess Anne.
All over inside an hour, but you don't feel short-changed. You have been through the mill because Marlowe has, too, summoning spirits by daubing on face paint and submitting to that cry in the dark.
To 29 August (0131 623 3030)
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories