Harold Pinter Theatre, London
Saturday 10th June 2017

Taking it back-to-basics, if it wasn't for the Shakespearean language, you would almost forget that this production was one of his greatest pieces of work, Hamlet. I was apprehensive before watch the production as I knew it was going to be a long one at around 3hrs 40mins, and with the fact I was situated in the balcony, legroom was going to be an issue, but honestly the power of this incredible production made me forget just how far up and away I was from the action, as I was completely hooked throughout!

Andrew Scott, best known for his recent rendition of Moriarty in BBC's Sherlock, took the portrayal of the central character in this production and completely ripped Hamlet to pieces with his take on this unhinged protagonist - from his first scene to last, Scott's performance was hair-raising, constantly being able to switch between deranged to comedic and giving every ounce of energy into giving the audience what they hoped to receive - an electrifying performance! Equally gracious but deluded was Jessica Brown Findlay (Ophelia), who I was completely in awe of her character throughout, where she just constantly owned the stage whenever she was on, especially having me gripped in the final act with a seriously tough scene to convey! The rest of the cast gave it their all and should be showed some recognition, even if one actor did forget their line earlier into the first act.

What I love about the writing of Shakespeare's plays is the way we can interpret and adapt the scenes to any surrounding possible. This particular production used the 21st century technology to its full potential, with Tal Yarden conjuring up some amazing video designs with CCTV camera footage, news bulletins, and live coverage being projected not only on the back screen on stage, but also on TVs which were placed around the theatre, two either side of the circle and in the balcony. The live coverage was especially useful when the company took their seats in the front row of the audience, becoming spectators to the action unfolding on stage - being in the balcony and not being able to see the front of the audience, having this technology to show us what the actors are doing was an incredibly clever idea, all directed by the wonderful Robert Icke, and had such an authentic look from lighting designer Natasha Chivers, and sound designer Tom Gibbons.

Overall, this production of Hamlet made my heart pound, keeping me hooked right throughout, and I would urge anyone with the chance to go and watch this magnificent production of a Shakespearean classic.


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