Totally gripping in first half;somewhat less so in Part 2.Was "with" Mr Slinger right thru though and whole support was strong.Found the set fascinating and the costumes absolutely right.The lack of regal pomp and small cast brought a Pinter like intensity to many scenes.Pace excellent;we were out in 3hrs 25.
Opened 14 Mar 2013
Utter disappointment. Not at all faithful to the original, inappropriate scenes, very disrespectful to the this world masterpiece. Walked out on disgust.
An exceptionally lucid and emotionally true production from this american perspective. The cast is uniformly brilliant. Just a great night of theatre, sometimes thrilling.
Interesting and quite challenging production, never boring, but I really didn't like Jonathan Slinger's Hamlet (for all his range of virtuosity, no real range of emotion), didn't care for the set (trying to work out what it symbolised distracted me from the drama), thought Charlotte Cornwell's Gertrude was wooden, but Pippa Nixon the best Ophelia I've seen in years and the rest of the cast strong. For the record, I didn't altogether care for David Tennant's Hamlet either, though I preferred him to Slinger in the role, but my favourite portrayal of the character out of the fifteen or so I've seen down the years, was Philip Franks in an RSC touring production of 1987 (in which Tessa Peake-Jones was an outstanding Ophelia and Richard O'Callaghan a very believably human Claudius).
It would be five stars for Jonathan's performance, but I share the critics' doubts about the set. David Tennant's performance has been compared favourably to this, but having seen both I felt Jonathan's Hamlet was much more credible and less manic. He depicted the almost intolerable pressure of someone having to conceal what he knows, for fear of being killed himself, cope with profound grief at the loss of his father, and then suffer apparent rejection by Ophelia, while not giving in but looking for a way to fight back. I understood Hamlet better through Jonathan's performance than any of the others I have seen in the past.
This is an interesting and unusual Hamlet.Elsinore becomes a fencing gym in a down-market public school.Hamlet looks like a dull clerk.Ophelia is young enough to be his daughter.Jonathan Slinger is a brilliant actor but perhaps he should have played Hamlet when he was younger. He does appear genuinely mad and attacks Ophelia,ripping her clothes from her.Pippa Nixon is a touching Ophelia but why does she have to lie at the front of the stage after being buried? Why did the sprinklers come on at the end? The production tried to hard to be different and did not quite succeed.
I thought the whole cast gave their all. Jonathan Slinger was absolutely fantastic. I have never seen such energy and the fencing was so lifelike. All in all sheer brilliance!
Truly mesmerising. Raw, laid bare emotion. The whole cast must have been completely exhausted - but Jonathan Slinger was extraordinary. A really fresh and utterly convincing interpretation. Loved every second of it.
I loved it. Whilst I agree Slinger occasionally relied on technique over real emotional truth, I found his interpretation colourful and beautifully nuanced. The concept was exciting, and the set monumental and incredible- I saw a fencing hall surrounded with weaponry that decayed beautifully into a Becketian wasteland by the end. It was haunting.
Slinger...all the rage of a cage fighter
I thought it was great, and Slinger's interpretation showed melancholy, humour, frustration, self-disgust ...all the moods evident in the text are clearly and sensitively shown. It's set in a fencing hall, by the way, to show the prominence of fencing in both this play and in the culture of Shakespeare's day. Works well, I thought.
Interesting take- Hamlet as socially inept individual- drives a stunning evening. Greg Hicks gives a terrifying, understated performance.
I absolutely loved it. With all my heart.
Incredible performance by all involved, Jonathan Slinger gave a manic brilliance to Hamlet. LOVED it.