Closed 1h 45m
Hamlet (Mobile Shakespeare Unit)
East Village
86

Hamlet (Mobile Shakespeare Unit) NYC Reviews and Tickets

86%
(32 Reviews)
Positive
94%
Mixed
6%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Entertaining, Great staging

About the Show

The Public Theater’s Mobile Shakespeare Unit presents a streamlined version of the Bard's famous tragedy starring Olivier Award winner Chukwudi Iwuji. 

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Member Reviews (32)

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80
Ambitious, Funny, Intense, Intelligent, Riveting

See it if you know Hamlet and are open to a new take. The emotional core is powerful, but much material is cut. Iwuji (RSC trained) is great. Intense.

Don't see it if you hate WS abridgement, but I love the Mobile Unit productions. Not all the actors shone, but Iwuji did. The time flew by; no boredom.

65
Great acting, Engaging, Confusing, Great staging, Inconsistent

See it if you want to see some really exciting performances, particularly by Kristolyn Lloyd and Christian DeMarais.

Don't see it if you struggle with Shakespeare when the production doesn't make it a point to help you with the language.

Critic Reviews (10)

September 23rd, 2016

"Purists may squawk, but many a time-pressed theatergoer can appreciate a smartly condensed Shakespeare play...Certain performers, such as Royal Shakespeare Company vet Chukwudi Iwuji in the title role, are highly effective; others appear randomly recruited and out of their depth...Iwuji is worth many times the price of admission...Some of the contemporary touches pay off with laughs."
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September 22nd, 2016

"'Hamlet' boasts outstanding performances and an intelligently pared-down version of Shakespeare's longest play that speaks frankly to the rottenness of our time...Performed in the round with a simple, efficient set, this production pulls the play out of the past...Iwuji is in charge the rest of the time with his ferocious performance...It's to the Public's credit that it has used Shakespeare's classic tragedy to contribute to a dialogue about the violent tragedies of our day."
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September 23rd, 2016

"While the Black Lives Matter movement is never directly addressed, Iwuji's captivating performance as the prince reflects the evolution of emotions when feelings of being helpless to combat the power of authority grow into a passion to topple the system...With a fuller text, McGregor might have delved into more details, but the demands of Mobile Unit productions generally limit storytelling to the main plot points. The fine ensemble includes standout performances by Lloyd and DeMarais."
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September 22nd, 2016

"'Hamlet' holds together well enough as a lean-and-mean story of familial intrigue, and for those who have no other easy access to the play, it's no challenge to imagine many a worse one. But for veterans, what you get doesn't compensate for what you lose. The societal and political context that can make this play unapproachable are critical parts of what it gives it that extra titanic dimension above and beyond even Shakespeare's other masterpieces."
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September 24th, 2016

“The verdict is that this is exciting and vigorous theater at its best. Cut by half, this modern dress production directed by Patricia McGregor runs a brief 100 minutes without an intermission and is easily accessible to all ages. Made up of a cast of nine playing all of the roles, and with minimal scenery, this abbreviated version will at times leave you breathless but will command attention at all times.”
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September 26th, 2016

"When you have not only a stunning performance from the likes of Chukwudi Iwuji—who seems born to play the part—but a full cast of actors in their element, the full force of this, arguably the best play ever written, is overpowering...It’s the play’s mobility that makes its reliance on a stellar cast and precision direction (Patricia McGregor) paramount...To end this run forever after two weeks in residence would be an actual tragedy."
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September 26th, 2016

"McGregor has whittled down the behemoth to two hours. She has jettisoned Fortinbras, ruthlessly cut and trimmed scenes, and greatly ratcheted up the tempo. What's more, a surreal prologue that packs a real emotional wallop has been added...No question Iwuji is the star here. His rendering of the verse is superb, with his voice going from a stage whisper to a stentorian shout in a wink...While Iwuji is mesmerizing, there are others in the cast who also deserve kudos."
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September 27th, 2016

"'Hamlet' is a great story. A great story of revenge, heartache, betrayal. And the Public Theatre’s Mobile Unit is great storytelling. Their bare-bones attack on the play allows for the words and emotions to rise to the top...Chukwudi Iwuji’s Hamlet is a force to be reckoned with. He fills the room with his heartache, his anger, his confusion...The cast eats the space up with their teeth, their hands, their nails, biting and clawing their way through the story."
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September 23rd, 2016

“A lean and spare—but remarkably well-crafted—version of Shakespeare’s tragedy, with performances tailored to work with the production’s quickened pace. Iwuji delivers a stellar, complex Hamlet...The rest of the ensemble is uniformly superb…McGregor’s direction plays into this modern-day morality. While the production is filled throughout with choices that resonate with the racial landscape in America, the clearest and boldest choice comes in the play’s final moments.”
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September 20th, 2016

"Directed by Patricia McGregor, this 'Hamlet' begins beautifully, with a wordless, wounded preamble...But it’s awhile before the play gets its blood pumping...Once Hamlet’s gloom gives way to passion, though, Mr. Iwuji has a wonderfully clear way with the monologues. This is a 'Hamlet' with an emphasis on speed. The text has been slimmed by about half, which can mean some choppy storytelling. But...the cast of nine managed well in the face of obstacles."
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