Hamlet - Daily Cal Review
The Daily Californian gave Hamlet a good review in it's July 27, 2018 theatre review article. Jump the fold for some excerpts from "Local production of ‘Hamlet’ cracks up — in every sense of the word" by By Sarah Elisabeth Coduto.
It would be difficult to come up with a stranger production of “Hamlet” than its original performance — on an East India Company ship off the coast of Sierra Leone in 1607 — although the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley certainly tried. In a series of July performances at John Hinkel Park, the longest-running theater organization in Berkeley has set out to embody the fragmentation and uncertainty of its titular character by splitting him into pieces, dividing him among 10 cast members to form a mostly successful and sometimes silly cacophonic chorus of indecision, instability and bloodlust.
Splitting Hamlet into fragments is an inspired dramatic decision. Breaking theater’s most iconic sad boy into his component parts offers the audience critical insights into his character. Hamlet isn’t just “mad” in the old sense of the word: He’s furious, grief-stricken, aroused, unhinged, Oedipal and — most of all — melodramatic.
The play’s shining moment — Hamlet’s all-too-famous “to be or not to be” speech — made full use of this theatrical and psychic fissure. Performed by six Hamlets in all, the monologue was given flesh and weight by the many bodies and voices joining together to fight, contradict and agree with one another. This is “Hamlet” as Shakespeare might have liked to have seen him: brooding, vaguely suicidal, philosophical, bitter and unsure — all at the same time.