Already closed | 1h 30m | West Village

Hamlet in Bed

From 15 member  reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Clever, Intelligent, Indulgent, Great acting

About the show

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater presents a twisty and darkly comic story about mothers and sons: a neurotic actor tracks down a woman who may be his real mother. More…

Michael is a neurotic actor and adoptee obsessed with two things - finding his real mother, and playing the famous Gloomy Dane. His twin fixations collide when he tracks down Anna, a reclusive former actress-turned-barfly. Gripped by the notion that she might be his actual birth-mother, he first stalks her from a distance, then lures her into a noirish production of Hamlet playing the role of the queen, his mother. 'Hamlet in Bed' is a darkly comic and poignant story about mothers and sons, about what it means to live a life in the theatre, both a generation ago and now, and about families - the ones we’re born into, and the ones we find along the way.

1h 30m | Already closed | Rattlestick Theatre (West Village)

Member Reviews (15)


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

Ambitious, Edgy, Unmemorable, Indulgent, Slow

See it if you are fascinated by actors. This psychological drama about Hamlet and Gertrude is ambitious, but doesn't fully deliver.

Don't see it if you get restless. I found myself nodding off.

Ambitious, Great acting, Indulgent, Quirky, Overlong

See it if you are a fan of either actor.

Don't see it if you easily tire of monologues.

Ambitious, Clever, Great writing, Intelligent, Original

See it if Like intelligent smart plays

Don't see it if Dislike the above

Confusing, Disappointing, Great staging, Insipid, Original

See it if you're a Hamlet fan and want to see a more modern take. Two actors; male outshone the woman. If LONG monologues and shouting are your thing.

Don't see it if the smell of those herbal cigarette things bothers you (it's intense). if you don't want experimental theater. not a must-see at all.

Clever, Funny, Great acting, Intelligent, Indulgent

See it if you want to see a modern take on Hamlet that illuminates the text. Two-hander with great leads. A vision of a fictional disreputable NYC.

Don't see it if you can't go along with a lot of self-indulgence from the actor-playwright. I found it amusing. Others might find it pretentious.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Original, Quirky

See it if you want to see some refreshing experimental theatre with a small cast and a phenomenal male lead. Plus, the production quality is amazing.

Don't see it if you want something light. The show is dark and often heavy. The female lead is a little weak and has been done before--I blame the script.

Edgy, Great writing, Intelligent, Original, Clever

See it if love Hamlet in any form and are intrigued by the many interpretations. If you are willing to extend your thinking about Hamlet. Fresh look.

Don't see it if a traditionalist in regards to Shakespeare, if you want only the sacred text.

Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Raunchy

See it if You enjoy solid acting and uncomfortable story-line situations.

Don't see it if You are looking for traditional theatre. This is odd, and special.

Quirky, Indulgent, Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You are interested either in the feisty and focussed actress Annette O'Toole or in the Hamlet closet scene as the story's springboard

Don't see it if You expect the actor-author to newly illuminate anything particularly inspiring about Hamlet, character or play.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great staging, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you love to see new "re-tellings" of Shakespeare classics and enjoy great acting and absorbing writing.

Don't see it if you are the theatre-goer who procrastinates and then is sorry to have missed an engaging show.

Absorbing, Great writing, Resonant, Intelligent

See it if you know the text of Hamlet reasonably well. This play brilliantly transposes two key acts of Hamlet into a parallel plot set NOW.

Don't see it if you don't know or like Hamlet.OR you don't like metatheatre (theatre about theatre).

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Great writing

See it if You like witty lines built off of old phrasings.

Don't see it if Not a fan of some cliches.

Ambitious, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You like great performances

Don't see it if Like

During previews
Indulgent, Slow, Unengaging, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if you're a fan of Michael Laurence.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of Michael Laurence.

During previews
Cliched, Disappointing, Banal, Indulgent, Insipid

See it if You love the actors.

Don't see it if You like watching engaging theater.

September 17th, 2015
"In its anatomizing of the psychodynamics of the rehearsal room, the play bears a resemblance to David Ives’s 'Venus in Fur.' It’s not, unfortunately, quite as entertaining. It is, however, suspenseful enough to sustain our interest...Both actors give strong performances."
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September 17th, 2015
"Laurence gets a startling amount of mileage out of this soapy premise thanks to the show's off-kilter style, Lisa Peterson's modulated direction, transformative lighting and, indispensably, the electrifying Annette O’Toole. Though the play is ostensibly Michael's story, 'Hamlet in Bed' emerges a...
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September 17th, 2015
"'Hamlet in Bed' is clever and creepy and Laurence makes a charismatic nutjob. (O’Toole is also strong as the could-be mother.) The portions of narration written in verse are surprisingly solid...But the fascination of the cross-references pretty quickly pales, perhaps especially in Lisa Peterson...
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September 17th, 2015
"Despite its provocative if not exactly credible premise, the play doesn't succeed in making its disparate themes coalesce. Its strangeness is only emphasized by the varying theatrical styles employed...Laurence delivers a performance intense enough...But it's O'Toole, still sizzlingly sexy at 62...
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