Hamlet: Shadow of a Man

This version of Hamlet is set in a high school classroom, where a group of schoolchildren decide to act out the play, partly to prove to their more sceptical colleagues that plays are not necessarily boring. The action takes place around and even on top of their desks. There are no costumes, other than school clothes and little in the way of makeup.

Although the play is greatly shortened, the major elements of the story are included, occasionally by having one of the cast explaining to the others what has happened and why. This works well as an introduction to the play, particularly for younger people. The performance is quite physical and fast-paced, and is well-acted.

The musical background is provided by a solo pianist and consists mostly of songs by Barry Manilow, with a little Elton John. The Bee Gees’ song Tragedy also features heavily and very appropriately.

Gordonstoun School has an excellent record at the Fringe and is often prepared to look at new ways of approaching the classics. This production may not quite match up to the Macbeth of two years ago but is still very enjoyable and well worth seeing.

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The Blurb

Shakespeare meets Barry Manilow in a clear, shortened, witty yet poignant version of the tale, mixing original text and songs. A perfect introduction to Hamlet and Shakespeare. ' ... an exceptionally talented teenage ensemble' (Edinburghguide.com).

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