London – Hamlet

Following on from yesterday’s post about London, Burgers and Hamlet, I thought I’d add some thoughts about the actual presentation of Hamlet.

The basic version is that I enjoyed it, and thought it was bloody good – although I’ve also got no solid reference points to compare it against. Technically it was still in the previews when I saw it – although paying full price for the tickets when it’s still in previews is a bit of a piss-take.  But it was worth seeing, and thoroughly enjoyed.

Happily, by the time we saw it, they’d put the ‘To be or not to be’ speech back in its proper place, rather than done as a speech at the start, and for that I’m thankful.

The staging is spectacular – as per previous reviews and thoughts, I’m a real geek for the technical side of shows, gigs and plays – and absorbing.

The play itself is, of course, equally absorbing, and interestingly done. I was surprised by how many lines and expressions from it are now in common usage – not something I’d realised at all. I thought Cumberbatch himself was good (but perhaps not excellent? I don’t know, with nothing to compare to, but he didn’t strike me as having that absolute star quality) and the rest of the cast were equally good, although at least one could’ve done with having a microphone arrangement, as his voice didn’t really carry at all.

That aside, I did enjoy the entire thing, and would happily go again, should the opportunity arise. (I doubt it will, but you know, it’s still something I’d be content to see again)  And now I need to see more Shakespeare stuff – as well as read more of it – and get a better grip on these things.

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