Hamlet (1983): Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
PRINCIPAL CAST: Geraldine Alexander (Ophelia); Alison Fiske (Gertrude); Ian Hastings (Horatio); Robert Lindsay (Hamlet); Philip Madoc (Claudius).
This production ran from 27 October - 17 December 1983 and subsequently embarked on a national tour from April - June 1984.
"The production does not pretend to work on any consistent plane. Seeing men in cord jeans and sneakers snatch up swords, I constantly expected the director to rush on calling for one more run-through before the coffee breaks. They never cease to be actors, spending most of their offstage time sitting out front with the audience. Polonius is murdered in a second-row aisle seat and has to stagger on stage to die...The players' dumb show is staged in Derek Griffiths' mime as uproarious farce, too entertaining for the royal couple to see the point of the play: a brilliant idea." ~ Anthony Masters, "Verge of madness", The Times, 4 November 1983