Guildhall School of Music and Drama Hamlet
With misty air and a bare stage, filled only with hanging black cloaks and wooden chairs, the sparse scenery adds an irony to this chaotic play and gives space for the whirlwind that the audience go through while watching Hamlet. The director Jo McInnes has favourably used gender blind casting, so the show opens with Paige Carter playing Hamlet, undoubtedly adding a unique edge to this archetypal character. However, as the play continues, Hamlet is played by three other actors to represent the protagonist’s unstable and fluctuating state of mind throughout. Each of them adds their own flavour to the role, especially Joe Eyre who portrays Hamlet’s madness in the renowned Queen’s closet scene with such conviction that I could almost feel everybody in the audience tense up. Along with him, Faith Alabi is beyond suited to the beautiful and confusing character of Queen Gertrude.
I have no concerns about these actors suffering many loose ends within their acting career once they leave Guildhall, as once you astound an audience in a Shakespeare play, you probably have not got much else to worry about. The two actors I expect to be taking on big roles in the future are Rosemary Boyle, who played an enchanting and multi-dimensional Ophelia, and Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, who played her father, Polonius. Also exceptional in his role, he constantly makes the audience laugh and gasp.