Hamnet (West End)
Closed 2h 30m
Hamnet (West End)
79

Hamnet (West End) London Reviews and Tickets

79%
(567 Ratings)
Positive
78%
Mixed
12%
Negative
10%
Members say
Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging

About the Show

A new play based on the best-selling novel telling a fictional account of Shakespeare's son, Hamnet.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (81)

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85 Reviews | 8 Followers
97
Masterful, Profound, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like theatres. Well written imaginary story played by wonderful actors on beautifully done atmospheric staging.

Don't see it if you prefer cheerful entertainment. Also if you don’t know much about Shakespeare, the story may not be appealing.

61 Reviews | 2 Followers
92
Intense, Intelligent, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You want to seeping your understanding of Shakespeare and like an absorbing period drama.

Don't see it if You struggle to follow complex non linear stories and you don’t know much about Shakespeare or Hamlet. Read more

57 Reviews | 1 Follower
80
Riveting, Masterful, Great acting, Absorbing, Clever

See it if Great acting by all and a very moving production.

Don't see it if You thought you were seeing Hamlet!

106 Reviews | 12 Followers
72
Resonant, Romantic, Fluffy, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if You already like the book

Don't see it if You don't have any idea on the book as I think it could be a little confusing

149 Reviews | 19 Followers
72
Banal, Insipid, Slow, Dated, Cliched

See it if You would like to watch an unverified account of Shakespeare's personal life.

Don't see it if You are turned off by formulaic Elizabethian melodrama. There are corny dialogues especially the whispers in the background in some scenes.

70 Reviews | 2 Followers
68
Overrated, Romantic, Great staging

See it if You like the book or are interested in the life of Shakespeare

Don't see it if You prefer upbeat shows or musicals

75 Reviews | 6 Followers
65
Slow, Great acting

See it if You want to see an adaptation that is true to the book and has some good acting.

Don't see it if You want a fast paced play. I found moments to be quite slow and weighed down.

83 Reviews | 8 Followers
64
Pointless

See it if you want to see a totally made up, pointless fictional account of Shakespeare and his wife and son (children).

Don't see it if you want any sense of what Elizabethan time were like. Modern perspective imposed on a very tired script. Poor direction did no help

Critic Reviews (11)

The London Evening Standard
October 19th, 2023

“This is a solid, elegant piece of storytelling that challenges the idea that genius is ever the work of one person alone.”
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Time Out London
October 18th, 2023

“A stage version of Maggie O’Farrell’s 1.5m-selling 2020 novel ‘Hamnet’ feels like it should be an effortless home run for the RSC...But this adaptation is a palpable miss...I fully appreciate why it’s difficult to replicate in a play, but the character feels overexposed here, which really drains the book’s brilliant final scene of power.”
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The Times (UK)
October 19th, 2023

“Fans of the much-loved book may well be happy to take their chances anyway. But it’s hard to warm to a production so lacking in verve and energy.”
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London Theatre
October 19th, 2023

“Fans of the much-loved book may well be happy to take their chances anyway. But it’s hard to warm to a production so lacking in verve and energy...Those splashes of genial humour aren’t enough, though, to compensate for the longueurs.”
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The Independent (UK)
October 19th, 2023

“ ‘Hamnet’ shows that Shakespeare compartmentalised his life as a way of coping, retreating away from his wife yet drawing on his suppressed pain to write his most haunting passages. It’s a moving commentary on his life, one that restores the family life that has slipped out of his story to its rightful, central place.”
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All That Dazzles (UK)
October 19th, 2023

“It may seem like I disliked Hamnet and truth be told, I really didn’t. The play was pleasant enough and I found myself entertained throughout...The most frustrating part is that Hamnet has all of the elements necessary to create what should have been a brilliant play but, for one reason or another, its full potential is never fully realised.”
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Theatre Weekly (UK)
October 18th, 2023

Whyman’s tight direction keeps the story moving at the right pace and still manages to acknowledge the structure of the novel. We can never know how close the story comes to real life, but that’s not the point of Hamnet, instead this heartfelt play shows us that from great grief can come something uniquely beautiful
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The Arts Desk
October 19th, 2023

“The book has the fluidity of a film, moving naturally through close-ups and time shifts, regularly shifting its point of view where needed. Even its scene-setting townscapes are filmic, presented to be looked at for their own sake. All this, inevitably, is lost. Which wouldn’t matter if the production had found inventive alternatives.”
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