Thursday, November 17, 2016

Grace's Review for "Hamlet" (National Theatre Live)

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First off, may I say that I absolutely loved this performance of Hamlet! What a treat to watch!
There were a lot of elements of this production that really caught my attention. 

First of all, I was blown away by their interpretation of Hamlet's soliloquies as a stream of consciousness. Im taking a Modernist literature course this semester, and we spent a lot of time discussing stream of consciousness and how it fits in to the narrative of a story. Hence, it really grabbed my attention; I don't think I've really ever seen it performed that way, and I've certainly never read it that way. 

Another thing that really caught my notice was the way they set up the timeline. In my reading of Hamlet, I always thought that the play opened a couple days after the wedding, (I'm not sure why, it doesn't make much sense, but oh well.) However, in this production, it was clear that the play began on the actual night of the wedding. This changed the whole dynamic for me, and I realize now that I probably should have read it that way all along, but I honestly never got it before. So that was exciting as well. 

I was extremely moved by Ophelia's madness. Often, Ophelia's jnsanity is portrayed as a wild, almost manic delusion. But in this production, it is delivered as a more fearful, uncertain state. To me, this is a much more realistic outcome of a mental breakdown, and it feels more relatable to me. 

On a lighter note, one final thing I'll bring up here is that I loved the little bits of humor dispersed throughout. In other productions of Hamlet I've seen, I don't think I had cause to laugh once, either due to a lack of understanding, or the way it was performed. But there were a couple scenes in this production that really got me. To be honest, some parts were downright hilarious, and that caught me off guard. It was delightful! 

I loved this production, and I hope I get the chance to see it again!

1 comment:

  1. Grace, I mentioned this in my own post about the play, but I also found Ophelia's madness to be more true to life. It is tragic no matter how her madness is portrayed, but sometimes productions portray her as someone who has numbed herself to reality, like she's shut herself off from having to feel pain. This Ophelia is mad because he is overwhelmed by the pain. She is broken from experiencing such great loss, and she can't get past it. I thought it was more true-to-life, an interesting comment on depression and mental illness. It made her more relatable, and therefore, for me, more tragic.