Fringe wouldn’t be Fringe without its many questionable adaptations of Hamlet and this one definitely raises a lot of questions. Primarily, why would anyone want to inflict this monstrosity on the public?
There’s something rotten in the state of theatre, and it’s Glass Dagger Productions.
Set in New York where Hamlet is a private investigator, Ophelia is a phone sex worker and Yorick is rambunctiously camp, there is absolutely nothing positive to say about Hamlet: Private Eye. With an atrocious plot and terrible writing, the play is doomed from the start and Shakespeare must be turning in his grave as his masterpiece gets massacred.
The ridiculous storyline follows “Private Eye” John Hamlet and his sleazy sidekick Horatio as he investigates his father’s murder. Along the way, Ophelia is kidnapped by the evil Gilda and Rosie, while her brother Laertes is killed. The resulting showdown results in most of the cast being shot: thank god.
Not even the best of actors could salvage this trainwreck; these actors were most definitely not the best. The acting style was awkward and forced: the actors may as well have been robots reading straight from a script given their monotony and lack of emotion. They didn’t appear to be enjoying the performance at all, which is completely understandable. There are some plays that are not up to scratch but have potential; this is certainly not one of them, as no amount of work would be able to improve this disaster of a production.
Overall, this show should be steered well clear of in favour of virtually any other Fringe show this year. The festival has its fair share of badly done adaptations of Hamlet, but this one really takes the biscuit. There’s something rotten in the state of theatre, and it’s Glass Dagger Productions.