HAMLET OUR BROTHER
by Julia Stubbs Hughes.
a version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Brockley Jack Studio to 9 April
410 Brockley Road, London SE4 2DH to 9 April 2016.
Runs 1 hr 30 mins No interval.
TICKETS: 0333 666 3366
Review: William Russell 5 April.
After the bloodletting Horatio looks back.
Hamlet’s father is dead, his mother is dead, his uncle is dead, Ophelia is dead, Polonius is dead and so is Laertes, which pretty well leaves Horatio alive and alone because Hamlet too is dead. Julia Stubbs Hughes has deconstructed the play and reconstructed it using only Shakespeare’s text to look at the events from the perspective of the survivor.
It is an interesting idea, although one does need a pretty good knowledge of the play itself to work out just what she has done, why and how effective it is. Tom Stoppard probably had a better idea when he mined the play to show us how Rosencrantz and Guildenstern got on. They too died, of course.
But what is undeniable is she has created an intriguing monologue for an actor and Jeffrey Mundell rises splendidly to the challenge, delivering the famous set pieces handsomely and keeping the attention of the audience throughout.
One actor plays are fiendishly difficult when it comes to holding the audience and he manages it- helped, and hindered a little, by the text he has to work from. Some of the reconstruction does puzzle a little as to why the play has been shaped shaped like that.
As a contribution to the 400th anniversary of his death celebrations this is certainly one of the more interesting offerings. If nothing else it made me go back to Shakespeare, which perhaps I should have done before hand. Hamlets are far from thin on the ground, and the play does at times sound like a dictionary of quotations so familiar are the lines, but that still does not mean one can work out how the reconstruction has been achieved.
Actor: Jeffrey Mundell.
Director: Timothy Stubbs Hughes.
Designer: Karl Swinyard.
Lighting Designer: Katie Nicoll.
Composer & Sound Designer: Philip Matejtschuk.