"It was like watching a drama teacher step up in place of a sick child during a school nativity."
By Alex Yates | 23rd August 2022 | Ashton Hall, Edinburgh Fringe Festival | 🍺🍺
Shuffling up the steps into the 600 or so seat Saint Steven's theatre you are met with the imposing and impressive wooden doors to the venue.  These doors manned by ominous figures in blood red cloaks, hoods shading their face from view. Exciting, dark, ominous - all the perfect feelings for this classic. There was so much promise for the show to come, so much anticipation. An anticipation that was met with a watery, ultimately confused creation. 
The ballet and the play mixed together like warm milk and oil... I'm not sure which substance applies to which form. It was like watching a drama teacher step up in place of a sick child during a school nativity. The characterisation was unambitious; Ophelia was weak and pretty, nothing more, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were hopping, ridiculous caricatures of the originals, the ghost of Hamlet's father was a dungeons and dragons cosplay looking fella that communicated via sign language, the list goes on. The play was stripped back so far, anyone who had not had experience with it before would have had no chance at understanding what was going on. 
But we came to watch Sir Ian, and considering the circumstances, he was magnificent. He has that something to him, an ability to captivate a room, his voice bold and rounded, treating the verse, the words with an often-unseen respect. Some interactions between his Hamlet and the Hamlet of the dancer were touching, I wouldn't say moving. The denouement had a dramatic feel to it, and it ventured into some territories where emotion had room to move, but not to fly, more of a wriggle. 

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