Hamlet

03/12/2004

Beverley Makin and Dom Henry went to see Hamlet at the Royal Centre


Yukio Ninagawa is an internationally celebrated Japanese director with a passion for Shakespeare and a history of innovative productions.

All of which despite speaking no English, mastering some of the trickiest plays in the English language with only an interpreter? Blimey! With a reputation for strong creative set design and staging concepts, it was with interest we went to see his abridged version of Hamlet which opened at the Theatre Royal on Tuesday.

Yukio's is an interesting take on the worlds most famous play, and worth going to see just for Michael Maloney's intelligent performance if you take nothing else away with you. You can be as pretentious as you like about Shakespeare and the nuances of performance, but Hamlet is a Tudor blockbuster of a play - with Shakespeare's highest body count! Featuring murder, treachery, comedy and madness, the plot twists and turns with fantastic depth of human emotion.

If you have never seen Hamlet before and are new to the play this may not be ideal first time view; daggers and doublets this is not. The continuity is non-specific with a changing mixture of influences ranging from touches of Samurai to the modern, which doesn't leave you with one particular feel visually but is full of intense symbolism. The stage innovation is certainly different with a minimal look consisting of illuminated strands of barbed wire and bare swinging light bulbs to an all black set of nine doors. Good use of lighting and dry ice with the simple set creates an engaging atmosphere without being distracting, compared to Yukios' often outrageously bold design statements it is quite subtle and subdued.

The performances of the actors seems to reflect a high level of self direction; perhaps a factor of the language barrier. Michael Maloney's performance was great to watch with an intuitive and fevered rapport with the audience, his changes of mood and freedom of emotion at great pace was captivating. The other performance which particularly stands out was Robert Demeger's Polonius, comic and lugubrious, his bureaucratic manner was enhanced by the fact like that his sound and timing was so like Terry Jones it was uncanny!

If you are a dyed in the wool Shakespeare traditionalist this is not for you, if you want something unusual with strong visual imagery then take a seat.

Hamlet is on at the Royal Centre until Saturday the 4th December

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this article



Ads by Google


Comments


comments powered by Disqus

Share Tools

Go to comments Read comments and make your own

LeftLion Magazine

Read our entire archive online

LeftLion Magazine
more info

LeftLion on Facebook

 

Event Listings alt

There aren't any tickets available for sale. view all events

Most read this monthalt

  • LeftLion Magazine #60
    With Stuart Pearce, Shaun Derry, Sleaford Mods, Gallery 47, Lenton Flats, Soul Buggin', DiY, D'Israeli, Ross Noble and more...
  • Doing it for DiY
    Legendary Notts free-party collective DiY threw a 25th birthday at the weekend. At their expense. As ever. Then someone robbed them. LeftLion asks if you can help
  • Stuart Pearce
    "I don't think I could have finished my life without managing Nottingham Forest"
  • Brief history of Gunn Crime
    An overview of the criminal careers of Bestwood Cartel leaders and 'Godfathers' of Nottingham gang crime, Colin and David Gunn
  • LeftLion Kickstarter
    Help us to raise £10k on Kickstarter to take LeftLion Magazine monthly and bag yourself some money-can't-buy rewards in the process
  • Five Reasons Why Grandmaster Flash Changed The Game
    The man who introduced the medium of hip hop to the mainstream will grace the stage of Nottingham this Sunday at The Approach
  • Pick of the Week: 11 - 17 August
    LeftLion's handy guide to the dandy things going on in Nottingham over the next seven days
  • Just The Tonic at Edinburgh Fringe
    We followed round Nottingham's famous comedy club on their epic first week at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
  • Pick of the Week: 4 - 10 August
    Look at all these pickings. There's so much to do that our brains are convulsing with joy
  • Pick of the Week: 18 - 24 August
    Superheroes, the Doctor, films in fields, musicians in luchador masks, dancing like muppets - yep, Nottingham has it covered

Ads by Google