Monday, August 3, 2015
Hamlet at the Stratford Festival (part one)
My wife and I just returned from a another great season at the Stratford Festival. One of the shows we saw was Hamlet, perhaps the greatest English plays ever written. The title role was well performed by Jonathan Goad. The role is quite demanding since the title character is in practically every scene, and though I believe the play was edited a bit, the total production was about three and one half hours long.
I was expecting a bit more of a melancholy Dane, and found Goad’s Hamlet smiled a bit too much. Goad seemed to lack that seething unrest that lies just beneath the surface even when he is trying to be happy.
Tom Rooney was excellent comic relief as Polonius, while Geraint Wyn Davies and Seana McKenna were good as Claudius and the ghost, and Hamlet’s mother respectively.
The scene that caught my attention and stayed with me most was Adrienne Gould as the mad Ophelia. Her transformation from innocence to madness was poignantly tragic and heart wrenching.
The sets were minimalistic consisting of different size black blocks. The big ones reminded me of the black monolith from 2001 A Space Odyssey.
I’ll talk more about Shakespeare’s Hamlet in my next blog.
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