NT LIVE: Hamlet ★★★★

NT Live: Hamlet
Odeon Cinema, Coventry
15th October 2015

Though as a Theatre student I have read many productions, these including the works of Shakespeare, I have never had the chance to either read or watch Hamlet, thought to be Shakespeare's most performed production out of them all, so when National Theatre Live announced that they would be screening the renowned production starring Star Trek and Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, I jumped at the chance to experience this spectacular for the first time.

Straight off I should say I loved this production because it was just visually stunning and every single cast member showed such incredible passion towards their characters, and even though critics were not so favourable to Benedict portraying the title role as Hamlet, I thoroughly enjoyed his performance, even when I am not mad about himself as an actor in general. Sîan Brooke should also get an honourable mention for her portrayal of Ophelia, Hamlet's love interest. Her performance was truly breathtaking and watching her journey, she seemed to really understand the character and had the most variable of emotions that she always seemed to steal every scene she was present in.

The biggest thing for me though that made this production so incredible was the use of set, props, costume and pyrotechnics, which really did feel like you yourself was involved in the action taking place at Helsingor Castle, and having visited the castle itself, I felt an even further understanding of the events that were taking place. Hamlet's ghost was also beautifully conveyed by a gooey green flickering light effect that made Karl Johnson's portrayal extremely believable and eerie, and even the pyrotechnics at the end the first act completely blew me away and is up there as possibly my favourite moment from the production!

Overall, Hamlet was a complete success and I'm so glad that my first experience with it came from this beautiful, visually stunning production brought to cinemas worldwide by the ever amazing National Theatre Live Programme.


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