reviewed by Paula Citron
Harbourfront WorldStage/Necessary Angel
Directed, designed and adapted by Graham McLaren
Starring Gord Rand, Benedict Campbell, Laura de Carteret, Eric Peterson, Tara Nicodemo, Stephen McCarthy, Christopher Morris, Gray Powell and Robert Persichini
At Theatre until
There is nothing more infuriating than actors who can’t be heard, particularly if a production is really exciting. Sadly, Scottish director Graham McLaren’s radical and compelling adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet for WorldStage is let down by mumbling actors Laura De Carteret, Tara Nicodemo Stephen McCarthy and Eric Peterson.
One hopes with Shakespeare to experience the well-known lines with fresh new meaning, and McLaren delivers. In fact, the director proves that Hamlet profits from editing. He has reduced the characters to eleven so that the focus is strictly on Hamlet and his immediate relationships. The 110 minutes are taut, tense, and at times even electrifying. Not everything works, but at least, McLaren is gutsy.
Gord Rand is sensational as Hamlet, playing him as a nerd and a loser, and it works. Benedict Campbell’s Claudius is commanding, and his relationship with Laura De Carteret’s Gertrude, when you can hear her, is a duet of palpable sexuality.
Hamlet continues at the Enwave Theatre until Nov. 29.