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English Literature students review Hamlet at the RSC

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English Literature students travelled to Stratford-upon-Avon to see the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Hamlet. Gabriela Williams and Gabriella Fletcher both reviewed the production:

Gabriella Fletcher:

DSC_0565“From the moment that this production of Hamlet began, you knew that audiences were in for a modern and different take on the classic. The altered opening showed the disruption of Hamlet’s graduation with news of his father’s death, followed by a funeral precession that displayed the king in a clear casket while a shaded Claudius and Gertrude looked on from above (this highlighted the running theme of surveillance excellently). I felt that the addition of this pre-prologue scene was one of the most effective moments of the production. The fast pace made you aware of how quickly Hamlet’s world begins to fall apart, making his plunge into despair all the more believable later on. Another notable feature of this production was the use of an all-black cast (minus Rosencrantz and Guildenstern whose roles as tourists worked well in the setting). Paapa Essiedu is an excellent Hamlet who captures a sense of modern-day youthful arrogance whilst being able to contrast this with vulnerable and tender moments later on.”

Gabriela Williams:

DSC_0563“I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of Hamlet at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon-Avon. I thought that the West African theme was very interesting and that the use of guns instead of swords gave the piece a modern feel to it. One of the intriguing aspects that I noticed about the stage itself was that the stage could move up and down in certain squares. This meant that they were able to do a very eerie scene with the ghost but still add the traditional element of the ghost being below the stage. One of the things that surprised many was that the ‘Get thee to a nunnery’ scene was very violent and had a small mattress on stage, suggesting a rape scene. My favourite character was Ophelia and I really enjoyed her ‘Mad scene’, especially as her mad singing reminded me of Eponine from Les Miserables.”