Hamlet

This production of Hamlet is greatly abridged in order to fit Shakespeare’s longest play into a seventy-five minute slot. Although this shows in one or two places, such as Hamlet’s trip to England which lasts only about one minute, it means that the story moves rapidly, with barely a moment’s pause.Two-Day productions, which was founded in 2006 at the University of St. Andrews, do not believe in spectacular staging and that shows with this production. The scenery is very basic – boxes, books and a prevailing brownness to everything. However, this works well with a play that is as dark and depressing as Hamlet. Similarly, there are no unnecessary special effects used for the ghost of Hamlet’s father, just an actor in white makeup and white smock.Initially, Hamlet is played as a moody teenager, sitting around miserably. He is unhappy about his father’s death and the fact that his mother has remarried within a month, but until he sees his father’s ghost he has no idea that his father was murdered. Once he learns this, he thinks only of revenge and events then spiral out of control, leading to misery and death.This is a very physical and energetic production. The sword fight between Hamlet and Laertes is particularly well-done. In fact it’s so fierce and realistic that anyone sitting in the front row might feel themselves at some risk.Overall, this is a well-acted and gripping production.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

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Performances

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The Blurb

One of Shakespeare's greatest works brought to life in a new version visually inspired by the worlds of Jules Verne and HG Wells. Two-Day's gripping Hamlet is sharp, passionate and bloody. 'Convincing, claustrophobic ... compelling performances' -**** (List). www.morematterwithlessart.com

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