Sunday, 1 June 2008

HOT: Hamlet, The Factory, King's Head Theatre, 115 Upper St, Islington N1 1QN

I think The Factory's production of Hamlet would have been 5 stars for me if I hadn't gone to bed at 3am the night before - three hours of the Danish prince was an ordeal. Putting that aside, this unusual production had lots to commend it. While I think 'bring your own props' and 'obstructions' are gimmicks which tend to provoke inappropriate hilarity at tense, dramatic moments, you have to applaud the actors' ability to improvise, especially coupled with the fact that each act shifts to a different space: the stage; a garden; the crypt of an old church; the side seating of the theatre. In the end what impressed me most was actually what would impress me at a 'standard' Shakespearean performance: diction, projection, rhythm and the ability to bring out the nuances of the text. For those reasons my Oscar goes to the actors playing Hamlet, Claudius and Gertrude.

1 comment:

Tim said...

I heartily concur.

I really don't like 'improv' and even I loved this because as Joyce said, the delivery was superb.

Hamlet was a star but Pelonius was great too IMHO.