AUG 6 - AUG 31
Monday-Sunday, 7.20pm, 80 mins
There is no ghost. There is no equivocation. Only revenge. Horatio teaches the Modern History of Denmark to four very bored and privileged kids at the Palace of Elsinore; Laertes, his sister Ophelia, who is in love with Hamlet, Prince Hamlet himself and his slippery friend, Rosencrantz. Hamlet isn't happy. A letter from his dead father explains that Uncle Claudius bumped him off to take the throne, and to rub salt into the wound he's only gone and married Hamlet's Mum Gertrude. This injustice will not stand and a murderous Hamlet sets out on a roaring rampage of revenge. Never paralysed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament with matters getting completely out of hand and everyone dying a very nasty death.
Hot footing it from their hugely acclaimed London and Oxford tour of Hamlet, English Repertory Theatre have been invited to headline their fast-paced action-packed extravaganza at Spotlites at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year. The most iconic of all Shakespearean plays, Hamlet, is replete with ghosts, stabbings, skeletons, poisonings and multiple counts of regicide. It contains all the ingredients of a seat-of-your-pants grindhouse unabridged four hour Wagnerian revenge thriller. However, this Hamlet has been tamed to a lean 80 minute revenge thriller that condenses the play down to its fundamentals. Fortinbras is history. There is no gravedigger scene, and the first two acts of the play remove much of Hamlet’s equivocation and spurs him to action. The final scenes of the play zero in on the final tableau of death with a relentless uninterrupted focus.
Hamlet is 16 years old. Actress Rachel Waring looks every inch the eponymous hero, and at the age of 26, the youngest women ever to play the eponymous Prince, finds the necessary maturity to perform the complex adolescence required and understood by the modern everyman audience.
“English Repertory Theatre’s production truly goes beyond expectations to deliver an incredible version of one of the greatest pieces of English literature ever written” Official Fringe Theatre
“a breezy, irreverent adaptation that still packs the punch required”
“What remains is a play of action rather than reflection, in effect a ‘Revenge Tragedy’, but one driven by adolescent angst and resentment of all forms of authority rather than by political or strategic calculations” British Theatre Guide
“(Rachel Waring as Hamlet) is clear, passionate and full of snarky, sarky bite” Time Out
“Waring's Hamlet is more punk-rock-f***-you than reserved regal dignity” London City Nights