Ghost Light Players have brought an animalistic
This production is technically flawed at times but a solid introduction to arguably one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays
With Hamlet being Shakespeare’s longest production, this troupe of actors have cut the play down to a simple hour and a half making the show accessible to all. In practice, however, some of the cuts are quite extreme causing some scenes to dart between moments erratically. However, the general story is still clear with the young prince acting out against his uncle-come-stepfather and tripping into insanity.
The passion and energy of Quinton Kappel as Hamlet brings an intensity which is very admirable in a play which requires its leading man to be present on stage for a significant amount of the run time. Yet, his delivery is weak and as he barks at characters, the lines are lost with his voice grating on the ear.
Jennifer Drummond gives a stand out performance as Ophelia, offering a gentle vulnerability to her performance that falls into an insanity that breaks your heart. The subtlety of her spiral is performed with great skill. The actors perform the stage fights with confidence and as far as stage fighting goes, the moves are generally very believable and certainly make the climaxes particularly dramatic.
The ensemble are often present on stage and each actor fully embodied their character, never breaking focus. On occasion, one is not entirely sure why their presence is necessary, or what their back story is intended to be, but as a whole they are able to fully engross themselves in the story which is admirable.
One struggles to place the setting of the production as the actors wear costumes that seem a mish-mash of different eras causing this theatre group’s style of Hamlet to be obscured. The music also comes in at random moments and, like the costumes, is a strange fusion of instrumental and contemporary music.
This production is technically flawed at times but a solid introduction to arguably one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, packing a great dose of drama and energy.