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Hamlet Feedback - Laurel Silk
More a random collection of impressions than a considered crit, but an honest response. Would like to say straight off that had a memorable enjoyable time,suppose it's a bit premature to say memorable, because time has to tell. But very different from other theatregoing. Some of this attributable to the haunting location (have been there once before, to hear/see Fiona Shaw doing 'The Waste Land').
I did wonder at first, with the initial playfulness, whether the play was going to be taken seriously, or sent up in some way, but the commitment was apparent as soon as it started.
The - literal - changes of perspective were quite disorienting. The lack of physical comfort compared with regular theatregoing was noticeable of course, and I was a bit peevish in the third act, when I often couldn't see what was going on; this went entirely the other way in a scene in act four when an exchange between Hamlet and Claudius took place very close to where we were on the balcony (Hamlet perched rather worryingly on the rail) where could see their facial expressions close up, just for a short time and the more telling for that reason.
I can't quite articulate why, but the constant changes of distance between spectators and actors had a powerful effect. I felt in a way like a minor participant -maybe like a chorus character; or maybe a Danish citizen, witnessing, at various degrees of closeness, the disintegration of the royal family. This illusion fostered by the fact that the actors were indistinguishable in dress and appearance from much of the audience. Which also meant that the boundary between the 'real' world and the world of the play was very narrow, and one tended to go back and forth a lot, quite joltingly, as with the appearance of all the objects from the audience, which obviously kept the actors on their toes, and challenged the audience imaginations! Particularly liked the juxtaposition of the glove and the revolver, as representing portraits of the father and the uncle.
I was amused to see a small child in the audience playing quietly on the floor, paying no heed to the play, and to note that no one was int he least put off by this - can you imagine that in a regular production!
Not strictly relevant, but I happened to see the Danish film 'Festen' last week; many resonances, something rotten in the state of Denmark, and the total meltdown of an apparently respectable family.
Would be interested to see if such a departure from usual etiquette works with a play less familiar. Look forward to the next event, whatever it is.
Congratulations to all involved. love from Laurel x
Liked the feisty Ophelia!
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