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Hamlet @ The Young Vic

Over the pandemic, most of us have had to get used to being apart from one another. I may be speaking for myself, but it’s been exhausting (if rewarding) to re-learn how to socialise, how to physically interact with others. Negotiating awkwardness and new boundaries is part of this, as well as remembering the social …

Hamlet @ Theatre Royal Windsor

A burst of applause unusual in UK theatres greeeted the entrance of the cast of Hamlet, who walked onstage in a line and stood facing the audience in what looked like a premature curtain call. Perhaps the applause was conservative (this was Windsor, after all), a throwback to an earlier time when the arrival of …

Ophelia (Cake Theatrical Productions) @ Esplanade Theatre Studio

‘My name is Ophelia, and today I will begin by playing Hamlet’. There are many great lines in Natalie Hennedige and Michelle Tan’s Ophelia, performed in English at the Esplanade Theatre Studio in March 2016, but the play is perhaps best summed up in this one, spoken by Jo Kukathas’s Ophelia. This is a deconstruction of …

Ophelia (Covert Media) (DVD)

John Everett Millais’s ‘Ophelia’ is a defining pre-Raphaelite work, and a profound interpretive influence on Hamlet, on stage and on screen. It’s the starting point for Claire McCarthy’s film of the same name, as Daisy Ridley’s Ophelia spreads her arms and flowers in a lake and slowly sinks beneath the water. The painting renders Ophelia passive, a victim, a portrait of …

Hamlet (Schaubühne Berlin) @ Avignon Festival Theatre (webstream)

As theatres around the world shut their doors to physical customers, they’re opening their archives. The global lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 outbreak is hitting theatres hard, but it’s a gesture of goodwill and faith in the importance of theatre that institutions are making their content freely available, and it’s a gesture that I hope …

Hamlet @ Shakespeare’s Globe

Michelle Terry’s first season as Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe has shown a deep engagement with the Globe’s history in its combination of old and new, and nowhere was that more evident that in Hamlet. The introduction of a Globe ensemble, an actor-led rehearsal process (with Federay Holmes and Elle While taking nominal director credits), …

Hamlet (Almeida) @ The Harold Pinter Theatre

My expectations have, over the last few years, been set very low for West End Shakespeare; a result of sitting through so many celebrity-headed, bland and conservative productions. An Almeida transfer of a Robert Icke production, however, and one that prompted such divisive reactions, is a different matter and, even transplanted to a more unfriendly …

Hamlet (RSC) @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Seeing the same ensemble of actors take on Hamlet two days after Cymbeline, I was struck by the demands placed on a company performing these two long plays together – the mercifully shorter Hamlet still ran to an energetic three hours and fifteen minutes. And this is one of the consistently strongest ensembles I remember …

Hamlet (Sonia Friedman Productions/NT Live) @ The Light, Leeds

Fortunately, given that I was extremely poorly during last night’s screening, everyone and their doctorate seems to have written about Hamlet already. There are really great pieces out there by Tom Cornford, Holger Schott Syme, Eoin Price, not to mention most of the newspapers at least twice, after the ‘controversy’ (read: storm in a teacup) …

Haider (dir. Vishal Bhardwaj) @ Warwick Arts Centre Cinema

The third of Vishal Bhardwaj’s trilogy of Indian Shakespeare adaptations, following Maqbool and the excellent Omkara, is his most ambitious yet, and possibly the most aggressively political Shakespeare film I have ever seen. The film, set at the height of troubles in Kashmir in 1995, has been the subject of a huge amount of controversy, …