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Hamlet Max

ensemble theatre · central city productions · Ages 12+ · United States

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Review by DONALD MARSHALL

June 25, 2014 certified reviewer

My overall impression

Shakespeare’s longest play condensed to 90 minutes. That makes for concentration, and the essential elements are there, though it’s a bit odd to miss some famous lines, including some from Hamlet’s soliloquies. Ending with Laertes’ farewell “Good night, sweet prince” is very moving. The acting was good. I thought Claudius (Jonathan Goldstein) was a standout, as was Ophelia (Corryn Cummins), who played the mad scene very effectively. Matt Henerson was impressive as Polonius and the Gravedigger (lots of parts were doubled). Hamlet (Andy Hirsch) was good, but I thought delivered his lines rapidly and with little inflection. The most interesting feature was the anime-inspired backdrop drawings by Hillary Bauman, which evoked a post-apocalyptic world; the Ghost’s appearance in the drawings was a good way to handle this character. The actors stay on stage throughout the performance, which allows swift progress, a thing I always like in Shakespeare performances. The production works best for viewers already familiar with the play, but it’s a production very enjoyable to see, and I recommend it.

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