Review – The Tragedy of the Prince of Denmark, C Venues

Tragedy of the Prince of Denmark
Horatio is a potentially interesting character to do a bit of digging into: he’s the character closest to Hamlet and the one charged with retelling the story to future generations, but he’s a quiet lad in Shakespeare’s play and we don’t get to learn much about him.

So SEDOS’ new play, billed as examining Hamlet’s story from the perspective of Horatio, as he tries to piece the story together from documentary evidence, sounds really promising.

Except that it doesn’t work out like this. Instead of a “new play” from Horatio’s perspective we get a boilerplate version of Hamlet with Horatio wandering around in the background the whole time looking silent and thoughtful.

The new elements introduced consist of changing Polonius to a woman (Polonia), adding a load of business with cardboard evidence boxes (cunningly numbered I to V, representing the different acts of the play) and lots of visual metaphors using a load of tangled and broken cassette tapes (representing both the tangled and broken status of Hamlet’s mind as well as his utter refusal to buy into the cult of the iPod).

The performances themselves are, for the most part, comfortably in the middle of the am dram band, although Adam Moulder as Hamlet impresses and Carolina Main does well with Ophelia.

2 stars