Ophelia, Princess of Denmark: Frank Bramwell
inamoment theatre co
Old Joint Stock
Runs 1h 15m, no interval
27 and 28 July 2012
Review: Alexander Ray, 27 07 12
This is the second of Frank Bramwell’s responses to Shakespeare in this mini festival. His R and J response had a neat conceit to drive the drama along; this one doesn’t, so that the characters appear to lack the urgent need to resolve their situation.
The drama lacks the narrative tension of the earlier one, therefore. However, this doesn’t mean to say it’s not a worthwhile hour and a quarter spent in the theatre. It stands as an imaginative, fairly free-wheeling response to the original, in which the delight exists in the exploration itself and in the spirit of invention.
The relationships between Hamlet, Ophelia, Claudius and others, various, are taken apart and differently examined; the play put me in mind of the mathematical discipline of permutations and combinations. Debates within the play are both serious and playful.
Sharp performances from the three actors, though they, too, showed signs that this exploration isn’t quite as easy to grasp as their earlier one with meaning sometimes struggling to emerge from the text. Rebecca Rogers creates with great naturalness; Ben Norris’s Hamlet has great charm, but Norris is sometimes allows his control of his physicality to drop.
A stimulating performance, nevertheless; we must find space for work like this.
Claudius: Andy Alsop
Ophelia: Rebecca Rogers
Hamlet: Ben Norris
Directed by Marcus Fernando
Scenery and Proos: Richard Constable
Technical Manager: David Wake
Light and Sound: Colin Ward