The Globe’s unstuffy approach to Shakespeare is designed to envelop an audience in the sheer pleasure of putting on a show. There’s music, there’s dancing — high spirits abound. Who says death-haunted drama can’t be fun? At the end, the corpses strewn across the stage arise and do a kind of jig. It feels right for a production that would rather be swift than solemn.
Charles McNulty – LA Times
To tell you the truth, the last thing I need or thought I needed was another production of Hamlet. I have seen it many many times including with Ralph Fines and Richard Burton. So while the production at the Broad from Shakespeare’s Globe held no surprise, there were still things to admire or see afresh.
Robert Machray – Stagehappenings
Directed by Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst, this is a brash, fast-paced presentation that embraces its theatrical roots.
Jana Monji – LA Examiner
By forcing the audience to re-consider Shakespeare’s Hamlet through a Brechtian lens, we’re left with a stark, intelligent, well-spoken, yet emotionally distant production of one of the greatest plays ever written. The Buckhurst Globe production doesn’t ever completely arrive, but it’s an interesting experiment, especially for Shakespeare aficionados.
Thomas Anotoinne – Stage and Cinema
By stripping away pretense and sentimentality, and trimming the text to come in under three hours, their Hamlet remains fleet of foot, shedding its angst-ridden tendencies, and becomes a vivid rendering that capitalizes on the traditional limitations of touring. (Always remember to pack light.)
Ellen Dostal – Shakespeare in LA
This could be the best Hamlet (and the best Hamlet) you will see in your lifetime. It certainly was in mine.
Bob Verini – ArtsInLA
The production blows through like a locomotive that’s late for its next stop, with a few exceptions for retrospection: Benz puts the brakes on Hamlet’s clowning with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Peter Bray and Matthew Romain, both ebullient and excellent) and settles into a sweetly meditative rendition of “what a piece of work is a man.”
Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly
This is a rapid-fire, youthful, freshly directed version of the tale of the dark Dane, replete with a youthful blond, practically punky Hamlet (Michael Benz), the only actor playing just one role.
Sarah A. Spitz – Santa Monica Daily Press
This is an easy Hamlet to follow directed by Bill Buckhurst. The fight scenes are well choreographed by Sian Williams. With added instruments and a bit of frivolity, particularly in the finale, this is a wonderful opportunity to see a little lighter Hamlet performed by an extremely talented company.
Carol Kaufman Segal – Reviewplays
All of the outstanding elements of a Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre production — the acting, text interpretation, music and energy — blast forth from a minimalist set and nondescript costuming in this “Hamlet.”
Julie Riggott – CultureSpotLA
There are nearly thirty characters in this play but we get a scaled down version of eight playing a variety of roles and succeeding marvelously.
Joe Straw – Joe Straw #9
Featuring a much younger cast than we are accustomed to, the verse, the scansion, the verbal dexterity and the physical prowess of the eight-member cast was a delight from top to bottom.
Dale Reynolds – Stagehappenings
Presented by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
At The Broad Stage
1310 11th St., Santa Monica
Ends Nov. 25, 2012; call theatre for schedule
Tickets: $54-$137; (310) 434-3200
Running time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
About the Author: COLIN MITCHELL: Actor/Writer/Director/Producer/Father, award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Broadway veteran, Marvel comics scribe, Van Morrison disciple, Zen-Catholic, a proud U.S. Army Brat conceived in Scotland and born in Frankfurt, Germany, currently living in Los Angeles and doing his best to piss off as many people as possible.