A modern remake of Shakespeare’s classic tale, Hamlet

. January 2, 2016.

In partnership with National Theatre Live, a groundbreaking effort that captures performances on the London stage and broadcasts them all over the world, the Michigan Theater plays host, once again, to Hamlet. This well-rounded remake stuck to its guns, producing a one-of-a-kind adventure that both repeat fans and newcomers can equally enjoy.

Incorporating modernity into the well-known classic, this performance boasts a great combination of dramatic flair paired with perfectly timed humor. Viewers willing to work through the Shakespearean language barrier have a perfect opportunity to get comfortable with Shakespeare.

Directed by Lyndsey Turner, the production takes the timeless classic and works hard to focus audiences on the beauty within the play. Turner creates an inviting environment,  enticing audiences with the stage design and the engaging character development throughout the show.

Sparing the spoilers (although really, the play is only over 400 years old), Hamlet takes place during dark times in the kingdom of Denmark, and the stage elements display the grittiness of the setting with rubble scattered across the stage.

Actor placement portends the dark undercurrent running throughout which Turner illustrates at the end of the first act with a thunderous speech by Hamlet’s sinister uncle, Claudius. Occupying an empty stage and requesting the death of Hamlet, Claudius, played by Ciaran Hinds, depicts a loneliness which permeates the performance.

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the titular role with modern sensibilities (in addition to modern clothing), bringing Hamlet to life as the single bright star throughout the show, continually commanding everyone’s attention.

While veteran actors Jim Norton and Sian Brooke also shine in supporting roles, Cumberbatch steals the show, thanks to a host of monologues that provide insight into his innermost thoughts as he unravels the mystery of his father’s death.

It’s hard to think of Hamlet as a comedy, but in this production, there’s enough wit to go around.
Cumberbatch’s Hamlet displays a balance between emotionally unbalanced and downright funny, and in the end he perfectly executes the role of  a man struggling with a moral dilemma.

Even if you’ve enjoyed this play countless times, Turner’s direction truly turns this classic into an experience well beyond just another rendition. If you have yet to see the broadcast, fans of Shakespeare and modern theatre alike are sure to enjoy themselves.

Audiences can catch an encore performance of Hamlet at 7pm Sunday, January 17
$18-$22
Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St.

734-668-8463 | michtheater.org

Trending

Courtroom installation explores what is fair and equitable in the legal system

We human beings are a storytelling species. Our social institutions— religious, legal and cultural— are based on narratives that may be fanciful or fact-based or influenced by precedent. But they are also ever-evolving. Throughout the winter and spring of 2020, Courtney McClellan, this year’s Roman J. Witt Artist in Residence at the University of Michigan

Kickshaw Theatre presents Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs

Propelling their new season into uncharted waters For many couples, the mere prospect of parenthood is daunting enough without the weight of the world bearing down on our backs. Yet as we take our first tentative steps into 2020, Australia is in flames, the U.K. is split down the middle by Brexit, and the sound

Impulse Ann Arbor explores Michigan’s thriving techno scene

Thirty Years and Counting Jordan Stanton’s Impulse Ann Arbor documentary chronicles the techno music scene via MEMCO (Michigan Electronic Music Collective)— a university-affiliated group of student DJs, promoters, fans, and dancers. This DIY collective has roots that can be traced to 1980s Detroit. It’s a wonder to see how this music has evolved and thrived

Brother Elsey

Intimate and epic Americana to the Ark The three brothers of Brother Elsey are looking forward to the intimacy within The Ark. Brady, Beau, and Jack Stablein have been recording and performing a rousing blend of Americana and neo-country ballads for several years now, layering songs with evocative sheens of reverb, swelling harmonies, and road