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.