Something Rotten

Something Rotten, not to be confused with the 2015 Broadway musical of the same name, is this time Hamlet’s villainous uncle, Claudius’s version of events, told as if he were briefing the audience- his newly formed privy council. Part parody, part farce, it’s an enjoyable one-man skit that reverses poles from tragic to comic.

The overall result was a neat and tasty dish, made and delivered by safe hands.

Soloist Robert Cohen impresses as the guilt-ridden king in a series of finely wrought scenes that shadowed their source faithfully. The overall result was a neat and tasty dish, made and delivered by safe hands.

Too eager to please? Perhaps a little, but its Shakespeare-lite, Blackadder language and the careful positioning of gags within a good amount of exposition, didst both their part do in general merriment. My problem would be that spin-offs, when they don’t clear the bat cleanly, will always be subject to unfavourable comparison. This one sticks so closely to the rather contorted plot of its source, the latter’s least attractive quality, that some of the would-be more interesting elements to the narrative, for instance, Claudius’s possible paternity of Hamlet, are made to look limp. They don’t feel convincing or moving. And the jokes run the gauntlet of being either too referential or too laboured.

It’s a shame really because we all love a historical drama, especially a comedy, and this one attempts to take this cultural trophy and give it a bit of a buff. Although, I will confess, I’ve never read Hamlet but I might do now.

Reviews by Charley Ville

The Warren: Main House

Movin' Melvin Brown presents 'Me and Otis'

★★★
Sweet Dukebox

Fannytasticals

★★★★
Sweet Waterfront 2

Something Rotten

★★★
The Warren: Studio 2

Cathedral

★★★★
The Warren: Main House

Big Bobby, Little Bobby

★★★★
The Warren: Theatre Box

A Glass of Nothing

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Hamlet’s Uncle Claudius- incestuous, fratricidal regicide or rightful ruler unafraid of tough decisions? Robert Cohen takes you backstage at Elsinore, reassessing Shakespeare through the eyes of the man who would be King of Denmark – at any cost. “Both entertaining and intellectually satisfying” (The Argus)