REVIEW ROUNDUP: “Hamlet (Public Theater)” Opened with a ShowScore of 77

Show-Score | Jul 14, 2017
“Hamlet (Public Theater),” written by William Shakespeare and directed by Sam Gold, opened on July 13, 2017 in New York City. “Hamlet (Public Theater),” written by William Shakespeare and directed by Sam Gold, opened on July 13, 2017 in New York City.


17 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 64.

Ben Brantley
The New York Times
ShowScore: 85
"A gloriously involving new production...The show’s intimidating four hours pass as quickly as a night at a bar with some of the best storytellers you’ve ever met...The troubled relationships of the extended family of Elsinore have rarely read so clearly or affectingly...The nine actors in the ensemble deliver such a completely inhabited performance that I didn’t feel restless, as I usually do, when Hamlet wasn’t around...Some interpolations give pause."
Marilyn Stasio
ShowScore: 45
"Isaac’s Hamlet is to die for, but director Gold’s bizarre 'Hamlet' is to shoot on sight...Gold’s hammy as pointless as it is solipsistic...The Anspacher Theater is a beautiful, intimate theater with wonderful sight lines that allow you to overlook much of this directorial gimmickry and admire Isaac’s brilliant performance up close and personal...In Gold’s weirdly cast production, the rest of the performances are almost evenly divided among good, meh, and let-me-out-of-here."
Adam Feldman
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 80
"Gold’s 'Hamlet' forsakes grandeur in favor of small moments of clarity. Its focus is on theatricality, comedy and language...'Hamlet' features some wonderfully vivid performances: from Isaac, who gives Hamlet a sometimes ruthless charm; but also from the superb Peter Friedman and Ritchie Coster...The production occasionally gets muddy...If this 'Hamlet' is rarely emotionally moving, it is never less than engaging."

“Hamlet (Public Theater)” was also reviewed by Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly, Bruce Smith of BSonArts, Thom Geier of The Wrap, Tim Teeman of Daily Beast, Peter Marks of The Washington Post, Robert Kahn of WNBC, Howard Miller of Talkin' Broadway, Jeremy Gerard of Deadline, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter, Matt Windman of AM New York, Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Mandell of New York Theater, and David Gordon of Theatermania.


The show was also reviewed by 48 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 81.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent

Marjorie 6130, ShowScore: 70
See it if…"You're an Oscar Isaac fan, and want to see him try his best to do an insane Hamlet in underpants. Also, Peter Friedman is funny as the gravedigger." 
Don't see it if…"You expect to see an understandable 'Hamlet.' Or, if you've never seen 'Hamlet.' For me it was neither moving nor involving."
Max F 6162, ShowScore: 85
See it if…"You're open to the unevenness that comes with a near-genius take on Shakespeare." 
Don't see it if…"You're looking for a traditional take on 'Hamlet' or haven't seen it before."
Justinian, ShowScore: 85
See it if…"You like the stars, smaller casts (with doubling), love Shakespeare, revel in curious stagings, or have never seen 'Hamlet.'" 
Don't see it if…"You've seen your share of 'Hamlets' before, don't want a 3.5-hour play, or don't like more minimal stagings." 

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.