Exeter, Devon UK • Apr 23, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Arts & Lit REVIEW Shakespeare Society’s ‘Hamlet’

REVIEW Shakespeare Society’s ‘Hamlet’

Online Arts and Lit Editor, Ariane Joudrey, gives Shakespeare Society's 'Hamlet' a 5-star review.
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Shakespeare Society’s ‘Hamlet’


20th-22nd May – Lemon Grove – Tickets – bit.ly/ExeHamlet

28th– 30th June – Stratford Playhouse, Stratford-Upon-Avon – bit.ly/Hamlet2019

Shakespeare’s Society’s production of ‘Hamlet’, one of the hardest Shakespeare plays to perform, is executed in a stunningly fresh and modern, yet classic way.

stunningly fresh and modern

Each and every performance is classic yet innovative that even the gravediggers announce their importance and value within the play to portray the comic realism of death.

Hamlet seems genuinely disturbed, providing an entirely convincing performance

His emotional outbreaks, soliloquies and striking facial expressions truly convey to the audience the extent of Hamlet’s emotional torment. Through this production, Shakespeare Society hopes to use the character of Hamlet, through its fantastic on-stage portrayal, as a mechanism to discuss and raise awareness for mental health issues.

The set design was most striking. Six broken mirrors comprise the backdrop to insinuate the notion of surveillance and questioning of humanity throughout the play. It Is humbly innovative to have such a simple and minimalist backdrop provide such a rich and clever environment. All of the actors make use of the stage available to them by utilising all walls, aisles, ground and height to give an interesting and dynamic performance for the eye to follow.

What is most impressive in this production is the use of modern technology

What is most impressive in this production is the use of modern technology in order to build the atmosphere of the tragic play. In all my history of watching about 7 different productions of Hamlet, I have never seen a production that utilises sound, lighting and projection in as unique and purposeful way as this. Whenever the apparition appears, the use of projection, lighting and varying volumes of sound are spooky and unnerving, captivating the audience through fear and eagerness to discover the reactions of the characters and the next stage of the plot.

The scene between Ophelia, Laertes and Polonius is hilarious and targeted perfectly to an audience of university students, making the play comically familiar to our age.

It is truly a modern production exploring timeless themes.

In particular, Polonius is performed in one of the most entertaining ways I have ever witnessed. The expression of lines and stage movement are increasingly funny, causing the audience to audibly laugh – a stark contrast to the boring typecast usually set out for Polonius. The production is full of comedy from the ironic choice of the ‘Happy’ book that Hamlet reads, to the grave digger singing pop songs whilst digging for the dead.

I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to experience this outstanding production

Every aspect of production; the actors, the tech-team, the directors, was so impressive that it is clear how thought-through and intelligent this production is. I urge you all to not miss out! The production will continue in Exeter for a further two nights before venturing to Stratford-Upon-Avon, the very heart of Shakespeare for perform another 2 shows at the Stratford Playhouse. Find links to buy tickets below:

20th-22nd– Lemon Grove – Tickets – bit.ly/ExeHamlet

28th– 30thJune – Stratford Playhouse, Stratford-Upon-Avon – bit.ly/Hamlet2019


In order to execute their performances in Stratford, Shakespeare Society need your help! Find their crowd funder here: exeter.hubbub.net/p/ExeHamlet/

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