Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: November ::
Re: Hamlets
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0893. Monday, 13 November 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Mark Fisher <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 10 Nov 1995 23:46:03 +0000
        Subj:   Hamlet in Edinburgh
 
(2)     From:   John Lee <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 10 Nov 1995 11:55:58 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0889 Re: Hamlets
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mark Fisher <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 10 Nov 1995 23:46:03 +0000
Subject:        Hamlet in Edinburgh
 
Here's a review I wrote for The Herald (Glasgow, Scotland) to be published
11/11/95, about Hamlet at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, first night 9/11/95.
Lots more to be said about it but I have to make do with around 275 words:
 
Hamlet, Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh
 
Mark Fisher
 
MANY will be relieved that Kenny Ireland's production of Shakespeare's tragedy
imposes no extraneous interpretation. No Freudian trip into familial sexuality,
no weighted political message, and no exotic cultural displacement. Which is
far from saying it lacks style, insight or invention, just that the director
has worked hard to achieve a faithful simplicity.
 
Technically it is a marvel. Robin Don's bare, steep-sloping floorboards, backed
by a bank of blank tenemented windows, topped by a billowing sheet onto which
the ghostly apparition of old Hamlet (Brian Cox) is projected, is as clean and
efficient as it is ingenious. Marked out by Ace McCarron's appositely ace
lighting, the production has a sure sense of place, space and depth, Ireland
precisely counterpointing stillness against movement so we never lose the
focus.
 
First-night nerves and an audience apparently on day-release from the Royal
Infirmary's bronchial ward probably accounts for repeated speed infringements
in the first 40 minutes, the verse being drummed out at such velocity that
there's no time for interpretation. Even as it settles down, though, it seems
more effort has gone into clarity of delivery than depth of character.
 
Tom McGovern's Hamlet is driven by a fiery energy, maddened but not malicious,
reasonable as much as irrational. His "get thee to a nunnery" to Louise
Ironside's brittle and intriguingly unregal Ophelia is more tender suggestion
that fearsome instruction. But Sean Baker's Claudius is a passionless and
mechanical adversary, a sly chancer more than a mercenary manipulator, which
lessens the justification behind McGovern's rage.
 
The result. having hurtled us headlong through a dynamic, often very funny
drama, is a conclusion that seems sad and unnecessary rather than tragic and
inevitable. An admirable achievement all the same.
 
Mark Fisher (
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 ,uk)
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Lee <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 10 Nov 1995 11:55:58 GMT
Subject: 6.0889 Re: Hamlets
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0889 Re: Hamlets
 
There are many versions of _Hamlet in the four volumes of burlesques edited by
Wells which I have just come across.  I can't comment on their quality or
interest, but they have some good titles; one of the best was 'Hamlet!  The
Ravin' Prince of Denmark!! or, The Baltic Swell!!! and the Diving Belle!!!!'
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.