Already closed | 3h 30m | East Village

Hamlet (Public Theater)

From 134 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent

About the show

Oscar Isaac ('Star Wars: The Force Awakens,' 'Inside Llewyn Davis') returns to The Public for this intimate new production of Shakespeare’s eternal drama. More…

Hamlet is caught between thought and action, anger and anguish as his uncle assumes the throne left vacant by his murdered father. As the dead King calls to him from the grave, demanding to be avenged, Hamlet is forced to choose between bearing the oppressor’s wrong or taking arms against a sea of troubles. Tony Award winner Sam Gold ('Fun Home,' 'Othello') directs theater’s most famous tragedy about life and death, madness and conscience, and corruption—of the state and of the soul.

Member Reviews (134)


Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent
Avg Score

Many "bits" distract, Helpful to know the play, Definitely different, Gold is overrated, Isaac is great

See it if you can put up w/Gold's intrusive choices to see Isaac's intelligent, funny, comprehensible, well-spoken H. 4 hrs zoom by. Intimate setting.

Don't see it if meaningless, distracting flourishes annoy you. For every good Gold choice, 2 bad ones. Messiest stage ever. Double casting can confuse.

Also Can you simultaneously love a production and hate it? I think Sam Gold... Read more Read less

Great acting, Slow, Quirky, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if Acting consistently rises about the high concept hijinks of Gold's direction Issac's Hamlet veers from glib hipster to grieving avenger

Don't see it if Nothing really gels in Gold's deconstructed version hence nothing really moves one emotionally It's a series of intriguing set pieces

Sam gold's naturalistic touch makes enigmatic hamlet much more approachable

See it if Gold's stripped down & often very funny production humanizes characters as does Oscar's powerful performance of Hamlet as Everyman

Don't see it if Gold's naturalistic shtick drains this great tragedy of grandeur and pathos; key Claudius & Gertrude performances are meh

Also This version employs most of the full script, resulting in a 3-3/4 hou... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Bizarre direction, Intelligent, Confusing, Slow

See it if Oscar Isaac and Peter Friedman are the reasons this play is as good as it is.

Don't see it if you thought knowing this play would prevent confusion; costumes and set are uninteresting; direction is uninspired, strange and shotty.

Also Portions of the play are set in areas of the stage that are not visibl... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Edgy, Profound, Intelligent

See it if You like to see Shakespeare in a non-classical production. Oacar Isaac and Keegan-Michael Key add a new perspective to Hamlet.

Don't see it if You like your Shakespeare exactly as written, stage notes included.

Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if you like Sam Gold's minimalist direction and quirky choices to a classic. Oscar Isaac's performance is not overrated—he was exceptional.

Don't see it if you find Shakespeare plays boring, dislike director making bold and modern choices, or if 4 hours is too long for you to endure.

Must see, Soul-less, Train wreck with extraordinarily uneven acting

See it if You want to see just how wrong a director's choices can go. 9 mostly good committed actors without cohesion or soul.

Don't see it if you dont want to watch Hamlet in his underwear. The words are there but the heart and meaning arent. Uneven tone, Key as comic relief.

Also Anything more I could say would "spoil" the odd choices which kept me ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Must see

See it if You want a whole new take on Hamlet by an astounding, masterful cast. Oscar!!!! Wow!!!!

Don't see it if See it. It's only around a few more days...

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You are interested in a unique staging of Hamlet by Sam Gold. The wonderful cast,performing in a semi-circle,are always in close contact.

Don't see it if You can't tolerate a play of 4 hours duration,including 2 ten minute intermissions. It is worth the trip to see Oscar Isaac and the cast.

Absorbing, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if Oliver Issac and company. Intimate setting. Shakespeare.

Don't see it if Modern production is unnerving

Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Masterful, Riveting

See it if San Gold goes Ivo van Hove in terrific production in intimate Public Theater space with great cast and outstanding Oscar Isaac,Key & Rankin

Don't see it if You need standard full theatrical production with no modern flourishes or music or modern dress; This one really works even with length

Absorbing, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Intense

See it if you like your Bard bare and modern or you want two see a great set of actors playing to their strengths in a classic work.

Don't see it if you want a splashy production or don't know anything about the play. It is not for beginners.

Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Profound, Riveting

See it if Inventive and impressive, crackerjack cast start with a "lets put on a play" attitude and unleashes a touching funny and powerful production

Don't see it if with all the role switching its not the ideal first HAMLET to experience; removal of typical 3 hour time limit makes for a lengthy outing

Great acting, Great writing, Masterful, Must see, Profound

See it if you love the play Hamlet and want to see it done beautifully with great actors. This was truly masterful.

Don't see it if you don't like Shakespeare or very long plays

Clever, Great acting, Funny, Must see

See it if You would like to see an amazing actor playing Hamlet, with two other great actors in an unusual and funny production.

Don't see it if You don't want to see an excellent creative Hamlet.

Intelligent, Well-directed, Compelling, Innovative, Accessible

See it if You want a Hamlet you can follow, relate to, empathize with. Not done in tights, at times not even done in pants! Well acted.

Don't see it if You like your Hamlets traditional, in doublets with flowery orations, scenery, big casts and lots of English accents.

Also Overall a pretty good Hamlet. Different but definitely worth watching.... Read more Read less

Great acting, Indulgent, Banal, Absorbing

See it if for Oscar Isaac alone, this production is worth it. He amazes. Some of the staging is inventive; it's minimalist and intimate.

Don't see it if the show is quirky in ways that are forced and unhelpful. The emphasis on humor is overdone: it isn't a comedy. Ophelia is very weak.

Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Must see, Absorbing

See it if you'd like a fresh, intense and intimate staging of one of the greatest English plays.

Don't see it if you think the Fortinbras scenes are the key to the play.

Confusing, Disappointing, Intense, Overrated, Quirky

See it if you want to see Sam Gold's interpretation of Shakespeare. Anti-tragic, anti-poetic except in moments when Isaac connects with the character

Don't see it if you love Hamlet the play or the troubled interesting character. Energy replaces tension, "laughs" fill the holes where drama should carry

Absorbing, Hilarious, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You like hilarious acting interesting staging and unorthodox Shakespeare.

Don't see it if You like strictly classic Shakespeare

Ambitious, Indulgent, Pretentious

See it if you love Shakespeare and/or Oscar Isaac. There was a lot of talent onstage.

Don't see it if you are tired of re-adapted Shakespeare where you better know EVERYTHING about a play going in so that the double casting doesn't bother.

Great staging, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great writing, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy the 'Sam Gold' treatment to classic revivals, especially this adventurous take on Shakespeare's most famous work led by Issac.

Don't see it if you do not enjoy Sam Gold's work, or need more grandeur in your epic classics.

Ambitious, Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if you want to see an inventive and solid presentation of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Don't see it if you don't like modern takes on classics.

Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Profound

See it if you want to see Oscar Issac's amazing performance.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy modern interpretations.

Edgy, Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Masterful

See it if A must-see; it will take you over.

Don't see it if The four-hour run-time is not for the faint of heart.

July 13th, 2017
"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 en...
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July 13th, 2017
"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....
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July 17th, 2017
“Disarmingly brilliant…This ‘Hamlet’ engages us in a game that makes us contemplate the very nature of performing…The heart of Gold’s production — and its genius — lies in its obsession with the paradox of the Honest Performance…Isaac, at once mischievous and deeply soulful, is exceedingly good…I...
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July 13th, 2017
"Oscar Isaac is a sensational Hamlet...That his performance registers so effectively is an additional credit to Isaac, given how many obstacles director Sam Gold throws in his way in a gimmicky modern-dress production that often seems more WTF-perverse than audacious...I spent much of the first t...
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