Hamlet (1999): Bristol Old Vic
PRINCIPAL CAST: Nancy Carroll (Ophelia); Rupert Frazer (Claudius); Adrian Irvine (Horatio); Julie Legrand (Gertrude); Bohdan Poraj (Laertes); Colin Tierney (Hamlet); Bill Wallis (Polonius).
This production ran from 28 October - 27 November 1999.
"This is one of those desperately overdirected productions where all the direction...goes into ideas - ie, presentation, situations, spin - rather than into character and action. Laura Hopkins's sets of endlessly revolving walls, some of them wood pannelled and looking rather expensive for a cash-strapped theatre, create problems rather than solve them. The setting is 1913, presumably to suggest terrible events to come - though why, in that case, some of the lines about imminent wars and the moral tone of the court have been cut is a mystery....Apart from Julie Legrand's thoughtful, tortured Gertrude, and Bill Wallis's pompous little Polonius, the acting ranges from the indifferent to the plodding: the point being that the Old Vic cannot afford the kind of actors it once used to train and employ. Those responsible should be forced to sit through this production and suffer." ~ John Peter, The Times, 7 November 1999