Hamlet (2003): Nuffield Theatre, Southampton
PRINCIPAL CAST: Ben Caplan (Horatio); Chipo Chung (Ophelia); David Gwillim (Claudius); Joseph Mawle (Laertes); Stephen Noonan (Hamlet); Heather Tobias (Gertrude); John Woodvine (Polonius).
This production ran from 16 October - 15 November 2003.
"It may not be the most electrifying Hamlet you will see, but it is a fiercely intelligent and clear one, and proves again that Sandford's vocation as a director is with the classics. This Hamlet has three trump cards. The first is a wonderful, simple design from Robin Don that brings a touch of MC Escher's visual mind games to this contemporary Elsinore. It also has two superb performances: from John Woodvine as Polonius and from Stephen Noonan in the title role." ~ Lyn Gardner, The Guardian, 25 October 2003
"The setting and costumes are modern day and when Ophelia opens up a packet of cigarettes, you know the Bard will never seem quite the same again....There is not a weak link in a very accomplished company and several give outstanding performances....[Stephen Noonan's] scenes with Chipo Chung's Ophelia are electrifying. Her impact is also quite remarkable, particularly as this is her first role away from drama school. The intense emotion and feeling she portrays in her scene when she battles with impending madness is gripping....This Nuffield production will entice a whole new generation to Shakespeare. It is magnificent theatre." ~ John Hannam, The Stage, 30 October 2003