Review by Emma Whitelaw
THE play that need little, if any, introduction has been given
a modern overhaul by UK theatre company, Sincera Productions.
Possibly the most quoted of all Shakespeare’s works, Hamlet
is the intellectually complex tale of trickery, betrayal, murder
The current production showing at Cockpit Theatre
is simply sublime! Shakespeare’s classic characters are
given new life by the overwhelming talent of the academically
strong cast, a surprising number of which have studied at the
renowned Ecole de Theatre Jacques Lecoq.
In short, Hamlet is the tale of revenge most high. Upon returning
from his studies in Germany, Hamlet attends his father’s
funeral only to find that within a couple of months his mother
has moved from weeping widow to blushing bride when she marries
none other than his uncle and successor to the throne, Claudius.
His father’s ghost appears to him one night and informs
Hamlet that it was Claudius that murdered him. Upon hearing this,
an enraged Hamlet vows revenge.
Fearing his father’s vision may indeed be the work of the
devil he waits until he has hard evidence before he avenges his
James Davis is just brilliant as
the Dane. His portrayal of Hamlet is exquisitely multi-faceted.
He brings an almost comic undertone to the character’s feigned
madness, yet holds Hamlet’s heart rendering wretchedness
with an equal fixation.
Another noteworthy performance would be that given by Sophie
Hunter. Her Ophelia is most commendable, encompassing every bit
the fragility of her heroine’s love-torn heart.
Sarah Jane Woverson, too, gave an equally magnificent performance
as Hamlet’s almost incestuous mother.
The set design was also stunning. The stage itself is a black
canvas but is given a third dimension through the innovative use
of props and lighting. It proved outstandingly effective given
And the costuming! Well it is just fabulous, never before have
I seen such an imaginative use of foam. I particularly liked the
enormous ensemble for Claudius and the outrageous use of pom poms
for the female characters.
The Cockpit Theatre, although a bit out of the way for those
travelling by Tube, is an excellent space. A space which I would
argue has been put to excellent use by director, Dylan Lowthian.
As bold, as intelligent and as wickedly comic as Shakespeare
could ever be!
Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Presented by Sincera Productions.
Directed by Dylan Lowthian. Starring James Davis, Philip Desmeules,
Sarah Jane Wolverson, Andrew Keatley, Sophie Hunter, Bertold Wiesner,
Alistair Gillyatt, Vanessa Faye Stanley and Jonathan Young. March
29 to April 2 at Cockpit Theatre, Gateforth Street, London NW8
8EH. Box office 020 7258 2925.