best Hamlet yet. Yesterday's natinee performance of Hamlet at Bard on the Beach was the best of the three versions I've seen, due mainly to Jonathon Young's interpretation of the title role. From the Strait:
It’s Young’s work in the central role that ignites the evening: in his mouth, every word of the familiar text is new. “Hold, hold my heart,” Young’s Hamlet gasps when he sees his father’s ghost, and you can feel your own heart constricting in your chest. “I have sworn it,” Hamlet says after pledging revenge, and you just know he’s surprised himself and he’s shit-scared that he may have made a pact with the devil. Young’s Hamlet is witty and painfully raw, notably when he dresses down Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, supposed friends who are spying on him for Claudius.
Indeed Young's addition of just enough wit to the weight of the role outdid previous Hamlets who have kept the anger and depression too visible and on the boil. Rachel Cairns' Ophelia was excellent as well, striking the right balance of fragility and strength. Great also to be reminded of the many many quotes from Hamlet that have entrenched themselves in modern culture (e,g, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”). I suppose i should also mention the 'modern' interpretation - guns, cell phones, ipads, etc. I expected to be annoyed and distracted and it to feel gimicky, but it worked.
2 thumbs up.