Stratford Festival 2008 – Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Stratford Festival 2008 – Shakespeare’s Hamlet featured image

by Paula Citron.
Stratford Festival
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Adrian Noble
Starring Ben Carlson, Maria Ricossa, Scott Wentworth, Geraint Wyn Davies, and Adrienne Gould
Stratford Festival Theatre until Oct. 26

The Stratford Festival’s Hamlet is a solid production. Adrian Noble has taken an economical spare approach and it works. Santo Loquasto’s set reflects clean Nordic lines in design, and Claudio Vena has composed a compelling score that is positively cinematic. Noble has set the scene in the Edwardian era which suits armies marching leading up to World War 1.

Ben Carlson is a very intriguing Hamlet, excitable, impulsive yet immature. Although his Hamlet is clever and witty, he can’t think things out to a logical conclusion which prevents him from action, unlike young Fortinbras and Laertes. He does over-shout, however.

Scott Wentworth as Claudius continues to be garble/marble mouth and the worst speaker of Shakespeare at the Festival. The rest of the cast understands language, with Geraint Wyn Davies as Polonius, Maria Ricossa as Gertrude, and Adrienne Gould as Ophelia being particularly strong.

This production does justice to a difficult play.

Hamlet continues at the Stratford Festival Theatre until Oct. 26.

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