The Arts

Why Not Theatre – The Prince Hamlet

by Paula Citron

Director Ravi Jain has created an astonishingly absorbing piece of theatre in The Prince Hamlet, his rethink of Shakespeare’s great play. Even for people who have seen one Hamlet too many, this production will surprise and delight.

Jain is anchored in physical theatre. At judicious moments, he inserts precise movement or gestures to highlight action or create subtext. At the heart of his production is the reconfiguration of the text itself. Jain’s modus operandi is flashback where he dissolves Shakespeare’s narrative scenes into action scenes and back again. More to the point, the well-known, hoary set speeches are better embedded in the text because we never know where they are going to show up.

The one fault line of the production is the uneven acting of the international cast that spans four countries, but it says something about The Prince Hamlet that it is greater than the sum of its parts.

The Prince Hamlet continues until Oct. 21.

From Winchester Street Theatre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.

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