Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Theatre Trip: Hamlet

As a condition of my job, I have to see a lot of theatre - it's good to stay current in the field, you know.  Luckily, both my professional and my personal connections grant me entry (although only occasionally for free) to some of the hottest tickets in town.  Case in point: last night I went to see Michael Sheen as the title character in Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Young Vic.

There were a few technical glitches at the beginning of the production which meant that we got three minutes in, stopped, and ended up restarting 45 minutes after the curtain was supposed to go up.  The play is just over three hours long, which meant that it didn't end till 11:30 - but it was so worth it.

Aside from being cast as Polonius in a school production when I was nine, I've never actually seen Hamlet on stage ever.  I've read it a million times, of course, during my studies, but watching it unfold before you is a completely different experience, and the production at the Young Vic was immersive in sometimes very frightening ways.

I won't give away any of the secrets of Ian Rickson's direction - you can read the official reviews for that - but I will say that his vision and Sheen's mesmerizing performance added a new dimension of insanity to the madness in the play and touched startlingly close to the chaos that dwells just beneath the surface of all of us.

Running through 21 January, Hamlet is technically sold out, but I would absolutely recommend that you queue up for returns if you can - it's an incredible production.

1 comment:

  1. I am so jealous- Hamlet is my favorite Shakespeare production to see (and read).

    Any job that requires going to the theatre sounds great to me!


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