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"Some play Hamlet only briefly, others for longer stretches. The result is a follow-the-bouncing-ball effect, and Mr. Williams helps the conceit along with flourishes of lively staging. Some of his actors manage Hamlet’s lines better than others, however, and the overall point of the treatment isn’t clear. If the idea is that all of us have some Hamlet in us, that’s hardly a revelation. So we’re left with a trick that is interesting for the first hour or so." Full Review
"Defined more by its shortcomings than its successes...It’s a nice conceit, but one that just doesn’t work...The first problem with having ten actors play one of the most complex characters in the history of theater is that the audience loses the opportunity to connect with the character. Each time a different actor plays him we have to reidentify and reacquaint...As an actor or director, it may be an interesting means of study; as an audience member it’s not an appealing approach." Full Review
"Williams has created something impressive...What could easily have been a pretentious vanity project is instead a show full of insight, soul and genuine intelligence. His cast and creative team come together, both literally and figuratively, to create an excellent 'Hamlet.' His bold staging works in every way that you would want it to, and raises new and interesting questions about everyone’s favorite sad Scandinavian schizophrenic...A work of genuine creativity, intellect and impact." Full Review
"The multiple Hamlets brought new life to scenes where the prince is struggling with his decisions…The result was magnificent, especially during the famous soliloquies. It was fascinating to watch a bunch of different Hamlets argue the age-old questions among themselves, like a group debate...A performance that manages to find something truly new in a play as time-honored as 'Hamlet' is few and far between, and director Ross Williams delivers a thought-provoking production." Full Review
"It’s an intriguing, occasionally frustrating twist to an otherwise straightforward interpretation...The thought experiment is superficial, undermined by the basic dramatic conceit that actors play characters…If there is power to the experiment, and I do believe there is, it is musical rather than cerebral, experiential rather than intellectual...It has the grander effect of turning the company into a chorus, allowing crescendos and moments of chaos that shutter into chilling calm." Full Review
"A production of rare emotional power and a directorial tour de force...What makes this production significant in a way that no other recent production can rival, is its upturning of this most unquestioned convention, the identification of one actor with one role...Williams and the New York Shakespeare Exchange have stretched theater conventions and opened our eyes to possibilities within the theater we had not dreamed of." Full Review
See it if like all things HAMLET & want to see a concept & some excellent performers, interesting in the round staging with actors up close & personal
Don't see it if value the language & want to understand Hamlet, the character
See it if you are interested in a fresh new and promising company doing an ambitious take on Shakespeare's most revered tragedies.
Don't see it if you are easily confused (especially by this experimental staging), or are not a fan of classical text.
See it if you are interested in reinterpretations of Shakespeare, great design, or just really want to see Hamlet.
Don't see it if you are a Shakespeare purist, or have trouble sitting through 3+ hours of theatre.