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Laertes Loves Hamlet Loves Ophelia

lucid dramatics · Ages 18+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by NIKKI MULLER

June 12, 2018 certified reviewer

What I liked

Amazing transformation of the black box into a cluttered apartment, with all the amenities, which really sold the show. There is always some element to their productions that integrate theatricality in a way you don’t often see, that make use of the live proximity to the audience that many shows ignore— last year had moments of audience interaction that pulled you into the story. This show doesn’t reach into the audience as literally, but they bring you into their world in an olfactory sense— be it coffee or herbal salts, the scents from the stage fill the room and remind you, “I’m right here with them.” (Luckily all the smells are yummy!) I thought that was a really nice touch, even though it’s a just one small part of production design. It’s also impressive to see how adept the actors at in moments of metatheatricality— a few moments “rewind” and replay with different outcomes, and the actors consistently live in each moment as if it’s completely fresh.

What I didn't like

I really enjoyed this as it stood!

My overall impression

Tremendous acting and an entertaining reflection on a familiar tale. I’ve never been let down by this group— last year’s Quantum Entanglement was my fav of the Fringe— so I went into this show knowing essentially nothing of what to expect, and was delighted. Each character felt so real, so complex, so relatable, which really made this investigation of the old story feel very alive and engaging. The show is rife with charm, love and a palpable sense of tension throughout. I absolutely loved Katelyn’s Hamlet, so flawed, so manipulative, so emo! And the brother/sister relationship between Laer and Ophelia rang so true. Really all the relationships felt so authentic and complicated. Just watching them interact and fumble through the insane drama of their life was fascinating. Oh, and the inside Hamlet jokes are fun, too! I hope more people are lucky enough to stumble across this show, it really is great.

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