Belgrade Theatre review: Hamlet - The Comedy
Oddsocks: Hamlet – The Comedy, Belgrade Theatre, until June 16
By Ashley Hayward
Oddsocks have earned a reputation for making classical works of literature become accessible and fun for everyone to enjoy and this production certainly does just that.
Here we get one of Shakespeare’s most famous (and longest) plays imaginatively abridged and with numerous amusing references to the modern world.
If there are any students currently finding ‘The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark’ rather heavy going I recommend that they get themselves along to watch the Oddsocks version.
The highly inventive script is brought to life by five immensely talented actors who work extremely hard to deliver it at breakneck speed whilst playing a variety of different parts.
The result is funny, engaging and thoroughly entertaining.
The cast have mastered the tricky art of audience participation and also provide some delightful music with tuneful singing and the use of a range of instruments. The set is simple but very effective and there are some excellent special effects, slick costume changes and a very impressive fight scene.
There are many spoofs being performed in theatres up and down the land nowadays but the production is much more than a send-up and I found it to be a more of a celebration or tribute to a great work.
The central themes of Hamlet – revenge, uncertainty, indecisiveness, mental health, human frailties and death - are timeless and still there to be seen.
Shakespeare lovers will also be pleased to know that the really famous lines such as ‘to be or not to be’ and ‘Alas poor Yorick’ are there too and beautifully delivered
I’m sure that if we were able to put Oddsocks into the Tardis and fly them back to the early
1600’s to perform to the Bard, he would certainly approve!