(seen at the Almeida Theatre, 8th April 2017, matinee). Some actors may
have left the cast.
This is the production that deserved the hype of the 2014 “Cumberbatch” Barbican
Theatre version. Robert Icke has done it again with some familiar faces and even
more familiar sliding glass doors and “down-to-earth family” approach to another
venerable classic. The Bard rather than Aeschylus this time, but the result is
the same – almost four stunning and revelatory hours of pure breathtaking
For the first time, Hamlet (Andrew Scott) is a true boy, all quiet brooding
with a quizzical take on “man,” and a quest for his own identity and the truths
of his world. He is coming to manhood, but isn’t there – and yet, and yet.
The family set-up doesn’t help. Step-father Claudius (Angus Wright) and
mother Gertrude (Juliet Stevenson) are classic career parents, sometimes
oblivious to his existence and over-compensating for it even as they ignore his
Advisor Polonious (the ever-magnificent Peter Wright), his son (Luke
Thompson) on course of revenge, daughter Ophelia (Jessica Brown Findlay) –
Hamlet’s squeeze (lucky bloke) a sharply contrasting, fully functioning unit
caught up in the madness and suffering greatest collateral damage.
Outstanding work too from confidant Horatio (Elliot Barnes-Worrell), David
Rintoul as a true Ghost, Anaka Okafor and Calum Finlay as Guildenstern and
Rosencrantz (not yet dead) and gravedigger Barry Aird.
It is, though, Icke's vision of modern Denmark, cool parties and functional
rooms, a little video and a lot of extrovert introspection that make the time
fly and make the monkey consider this a landmark production it will remember and
discuss for years to come.
Now in the West End, try to get a ticket. This is one silence that must be