Hamlet in Bed

Michael Laurence

Pleasance Courtyard

From 03 August 2016 to 29 August 2016

Rating: ****

Review by Philip Fisher

New Yorkers have seemingly created a genre that almost goes beyond the metatheatrical in its efforts to explore the soul of stage creativity.

Michael Laurence has penned a play starring a man called Michael, who looks back over his life through the medium of Hamlet.

The trigger for an off-Broadway transfer is the discovery of a hand-written journal that originally belonged to an actress in the 1970s.

At the time, she was playing Ophelia in a long-forgotten production and 39-year-old orphan Michael decides to try and trace the lady two generations on.

She appears in the form of Hollywood actress Annette O’Toole’s Anna-May, a sixtyish hippy type who is seduced by the promise of a return to the footlights as Gertrude.

From this premise, we learn about the characters’ histories as they rehearse and perform the closet scene and spy additional coincidences that might or might not be in Michael’s head.

Hamlet in Bed is a beautifully acted play that will appeal to anyone in love with the Bard or New York theatricality.