British Black and Asian Shakespeare Performance Database
Hamlet (2010): Royal Shakespeare Company, Young People's Shakespeare (touring)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Dyfan Dwyfor (Laertes); Debbie Korley (Ophelia); Dharmesh Patel (Hamlet); Peter Peverley (Polonius); David Rubin (Claudius); Simone Saunders (Horatio); Kirsty Woodward (Gertrude).
This production toured to schools as part of the RSC's educational programme; exact dates unknown.
"To be blunt, this version - edited by Bijan Sheibani and Tarrell Alvin McCraney, who also directs - is pretty bog-standard: an efficient digest that rattles through the basics in 75 minutes, leaving the mystery and potency of the play to fend for itself. With only a simple curtain backdrop, rudimentary sound effects on DIY instruments and a modicum of audience-participation, much depends upon the charisma and clarity of the nine-strong cast, garbed in Victorian dress, to hold it together. As Hamlet, Dharmesh Patel is plainly no David Tennant but, along with the mainly youthful remainder of the troupe, he has zest and intelligence, and achieves a necessary final surge in adrenalin during his climactic, swashbuckling confrontation with Dyfan Dwyfor's Laertes." ~ Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph, 28 January 2010, in Theatre Record 2010, Issue 1 - 2
"The costumes are a riot of assorted hats and swishy coats; furled black umbrellas jab the air for emphasis. Eerie music is coaxed from guitar and harp strings or the moistened rim of a wineglass. The effect is of a restless state haunted both by Patrick Romer's silver-haired, masked ghost and by governmental instability, a place of torment for Dharmesh Patel's lean, quick-witted, flashing-eyed Hamlet. The brisk staging finds time for emotional delicacy, too. In Ophelia's mad scene Debbie Korley cradles dead Polonius's hat and brolly like a stillborn baby, crooning lines from Sam Sparro's hit Black and Gold: 'The stars fell out of the sky/and my tears rooled into the ocean.' It's a moment that connects classical drama and pop culture, emblematic of a venture that gives ownership of Shakespeare to a new generation." ~ Sam Marlowe, The Times, 25 January 2010, in Theatre Record 2010, Issue 1 - 2
"The nine-strong cast do a good storytelling job: most especially Dharmesh Patel's urgent Hamlet, Peter Peverley's gravelling Polonius and Debbie Korley's distrait Ophelia" ~ Michael Billington, The Guardian, 23 January 2010, in Theatre Record 2010, Issue 1 - 2
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