Live reviews

Hamlet; Heartbreak Productions; DeMontfort Hall, Leicester

In bleak contrast to the previous week's performance, tonight's acting of Williams Shakespeare's; Hamlet was played out in the sodden evening's air of an English Summer. Prior to the commencement of the script, actresses clung to sodden gowns, actors drew on wilting cigarettes, as I clutched my dampening knees beneath the edge of an ailing awning, but befitting a company acting such a plot, the show must go on and tonight's cast were not letting mere soggy costumes and the prospect of a chest cold stop this performance.

Although condition's did prove somewhat of a distraction to me at times, the sheer weight of the story (I was a 'Hamlet' virgin before tonight) and the company's interpretation of the script was compellin. With ingenious use of props to signify the characters place within the play and actors who performed in multiple roles, made this a night where the audience's complete attention was encouraged to wring every last drop from the performance. Wherever you came from this evening in terms of viewing this performance, be it novice or more familiar observer, this packed enough in to gender to all comers.

Quite frankly you couldn't fail to be drawn into this play, whether it be from the interpretation already described, or maybe the soggy bum you took home. From the Beckham'esque coupling of Claudius (Thomas Hayler) and Gertrude (Claire Worboys), to the carnage befitting our central players as observed by Hamlet's friend Horatio (James Webster) at the culmination of tonight's story, this thriller was undoubtedly a hit, even considering natures part played in the performance.

If you missed it, why not catch our review of Heartbreak Productions open air performance of Much Ado About Nothing.

Nick James


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