Encapsulated Review (full review at Bitter Lemons):
HAMLET MAX may be co-presented by Schkapf and Sacred Fools Theater, but this is Jacob Sidney’s project all the way. He not only has adapted the material from Shakespeare’s Hamlet but also serves as producer, director, and lead actor. HAMLET MAX’s visual presentation is the most unique quality of this production. Using projections of original artwork by Hillary Bauman (which were then subtlety animated by Chris Hutchings), Sidney turns the entire play into a living graphic novel. Those not already intimately familiar with the original material may find this adapted version tougher going, however. Even more problematic is the tendency for some of the actors, particularly Sidney, to shout ...
The title of Jacob Sidney’s futuristic Hamlet refers to the Dane’s dead father Maximus, a character who never appears live on stage but only materializes as part of Hillary Bauman’s black & white anime projections on a screen behind the actors. The audience sees the ghost fade in and out behind them while a mirthless Hamlet peers out over the audience and responds to his father somewhere out in the empty wasteland beyond us.
It is a stylistic element that characterizes Sidney’s Hamlet in a production that is a steely mix of live action and introspective contemplation. As an exercise, it is immensely thought-provoking, but because each of the actors is already working within his or her own individual style, it keeps the sum of its parts fr...
***This review first appeared on stageraw.com.***
Despite initial claims that this production is set in post-apocalyptic Denmark, director-adapter Jacob Sidney has given us a brisk, fast-moving and ultimately conventional production. The projected comic-book-style settings by Hillary Bauman and the eccentric costumes by Angi Bell Ursetta are initially startling: Hamlet (director Sidney) has crimson-dyed hair with a white stripe circling his head, a man’s suit-coat with sleeves cut out, and bare feet, with garish red toe-nail polish. But the play’s sweep soon makes us forget the oddities, though Sidney often seems more interested in the exotic externals than in a serious exploration of the text
Aside from some gender-blind casting, t...