William Shakespeare
Durham University Classical Theatre
theSpace on North Bridge


Upon hearing that his father has died, Hamlet rushes to Denmark. There he finds the ghost of his father lamenting the marriage of Hamlet’s uncle to his widowed mother.

Oh, never mind. Everyone knows Hamlet. Or the story, at the very least.

And every year, the Fringe is rife with the most catholic attempt to the barely recognisable interpretations. There are always many professional, amateur, community and school production. The well-known titles are meant to and do attract audiences. Most by necessity are cut to fit the Fringe format: 50 to 90 minutes.

And there's a boatload of Shakespeare again this year; enough to drown yourself. Durham University Classical Theatre presents a school-worthy Hamlet. Most of the actors look to have potential, especially the actors playing Polonius and Laertes. Sadly, the director has failed the actors who may have fared better. There is a lot of "acting" going on. We miss the differences between monologue and soliloquy. And the script which always needs cutting is here badly cut. You will nose him out is out. And I didn't know that Doctor Rosencrantz and nurse Guildenstern were needed to whisk Hamlet away to hospital.

Most of the cast look to have potential untapped. Most particularly, the actors playing Laertes and Polonius. A noble attempt.

Reviewer: Catherine Lamm

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