Already closed | East Village

Hamlet (Waterwell)

From 12 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Intelligent, Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Great staging

About the show

Waterwell presents a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy, set in Iran a century ago and starring Tony nominee Arian Moayed ('Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,' 'The Humans'). More…

Set in Persia on the eve of World War I, this 'Hamlet' weaves passages of Farsi translation into Shakespeare's English. In the play, a traditional way of life is being threatened by an evolving world, the land is being threatened by encroaching foreign interests, and a young man finds himself uprooted and torn between opposing customs, values, and codes. Co-starring three-time Tony nominee Sherie Rene Scott as Gertrude.

Member Reviews (12)


Great acting, Intelligent, Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Great staging
Avg Score

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Well acted, Intelligent

See it if Well played attempt to bring a multi-culture view of Shakespeare's masterwork. Farsi dialogue fluidly interspersed w/vivid music soundscape

Don't see it if Moayed interpret of Hamlet a little too low-keyed to be truly powerful but still interesting Guilarte's Claudius & Naidu's Polonius excel

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you want to see a unique take on a classic. The scenes in Farsi are very well executed. Arian makes a great Hamlet!

Don't see it if you don't want to see Hamlet interpreted in a new way.

Refreshing, Great acting, Intelligent, Slow

See it if You want to see a fresh, well acted, very interestingly concepted version of a Shakespeare classic. With a great lead performance.

Don't see it if Shakespeare is not your thing, or if you don't want to see something in a foreign language. About a third of this production is.

Also Very slow first half. I DO think some of that is in the writing, thoug... Read more Read less

Refreshing, Great staging, Great acting, Delightful

See it if You've read and seen Hamlet. This is a bilingual and reimagined performance. Several strong actors. Terrific live music.

Don't see it if You've never seen Hamlet. You just won't get it.

Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You want to see a fresh take on Hamlet. Setting is an Arab country w/Farsi sprinkled throughout. Great, thoughtful context for a classic.

Don't see it if You aren't open to new interpretations of classics. There is so much here to think about!

Great staging, Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if You like to see Shakespeare with a fresh, new concept and staging

Don't see it if you get impatient during the slow build of a play

Clever, Disappointing, Great staging, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You love new and inventive ways to rediscover Shakespeare.

Don't see it if You believe that rearranging the original text (moving the placement of "to be or not to be...") is blasphemy.

During previews
Creative, Entertaining, Great acting, Refreshing

See it if you like Shakespeare and appreciate it put in a different context. The concept really works. Really well acted.

Don't see it if The farsi scenes are not overused but are better suited to a prior knowledge of the story. A synopsis prior helps. Small but intimate set.

Also Sherie Rene Scott is stellar as always. And so is most of the cast. ... Read more Read less

During previews
Great acting, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You enjoy Shakespeares plays and like intimate staging with great performances. Sherie Rene Scott is excellent as Gertrude!

Don't see it if You aren't a fan of Shakespeare. There are several scenes in Farsi but they all make sense, I was never confused as to what was happening.

During previews
Absorbing, Intelligent, Intense

See it if you would like an interesting take on Hamlet, speak Farsi, or want to connect emotionally with the characters.

Don't see it if You don't know the plot. Several crucial scenes are in Farsi - of course no problem if you speak the language.

During previews
Ambitious, Enchanting, Great staging, Great acting, Refreshing

See it if You understand Farsi.

Don't see it if If you can't get past not understanding portions of the language, I don't recommend the show.

During previews
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Resonant, Intelligent

See it if You want to be right on top of the action in a sensitive, human, deeply absorbing performance of Hamlet. Moyaed's Hamlet is bright & tender.

Don't see it if You get grumpy if some stuff is moved around, or one of the big soliloquies is cut, or some really juicy verse isn't delivered in English.

Also Excellent performances across the board... that said, beyond Moyaed's ... Read more Read less

May 22nd, 2017
"The Waterwell 'Hamlet' may be indifferently acted, for the most part, but it’s conceptually bracing, as befits a company devoted to reimagining and recontextualizing classics...The founders are exploring the existential crises that arise when national identity comes under siege, and it’s remarka...
read more
May 25th, 2017
"The production is physically graceful...The textures throughout are lush...The performances are mostly strong. But Hamlet is the drama’s prime mover, and Moayed’s elegant diffidence alters the play’s gravity...Moayed’s Dane blossoms as he plots; this Hamlet dances and shrugs and laughs his way t...
read more
May 22nd, 2017
"As a new look at one of the greatest plays ever written, Ridgely's production is worth seeing. However, despite many intriguing moments and ideas, it never shakes the feeling of being incomplete...Ridgely and the company use the dual dialects to sub in for characterization, almost as though they...
read more
May 30th, 2017
“Dazzling…It’s a perfect marriage of two radically different cultures and socio-political contexts. The intermittent use of Farsi and English never feels abrupt, but rather enhances the dramatic tension…I believe that even 'Hamlet' virgins would be able to follow the plot with ease, for the integ...
read more

Related content