Hamlet: A production to be proud of

On Thursday Feb. 16th, I was privileged to be in the audience of the University production of Hamlet. I have to say, I have never been so glad that I skipped half of class for it!

Directed by Brian Parkinson, this interpretation takes place in a contemporary Denmark, but is still faithful to the Shakespearean dialogue that makes it both difficult to understand at times, and equally engaging. They did this using a variety of techniques. First, was the set design. Personally, I was a HUGE fan of the set. It was versitile, contemporary, however held the feel of an old castle with it’s use of stone-looking material and multiple step levels. Second, the sound effects, which were also very well done. Between scenes involving intense events, they transitioned it with a bass-filled, technological booming that made the viewer feel a sense of raised anticipation for the next scene. This, I think, not only held the audiences attention but also heightened it, which is important in a play as lengthy as this. 

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When first seeing Craig McCue (above) the actor that played Hamlet, I was skeptical. Hamlet is a character of intensity - he is complicated, aggressive, and sometimes a little bit mad. The initial sense I received from McCue was none of these things. However it wasn’t long (only a few scenes) when I realized how wrong I was to judge his acting ability on his appearance - He was simply amazing. McCue delivered Hamlet’s character exactly the way I think we all imagine him, and flawlessly. His scenes that involved intense emotion (which are abundant) were done amazingly well, and was very funny when comic relief was necessary.

Another aspect I deeply admired about this play was the language used. Although Shakespearean, the actors seemed to…almost simplify it to appeal to a wider audience. They did this by accentuating and articulating every phrase in such a way to add the meaning they were trying to portray. I think we can all appreciate that!

All in all, this production has proven itself once again, to be a legitimate portrayal of the talent and skill that this University both produces and practices in it’s Fine Arts Department. 

Best $10 I’ve ever spent!