Atmosphere is the thing with Hamlet
Hamlet 1998 – Bournemouth Shakespeare Players,
Christchurch Priory House Gardens
THERE’S only one thing more appealing on an English summer evening than watching Shakespeare out in the open-air – that’s watching him indoors in the warm.
I jest of course. Whatever the weather, the atmosphere’s the thing and Christchurch Priory’s grounds, with rustling trees, tolling bell clock and the day’s dying light certainly provide that for this excellent company’s descent down the master’s doom-reeking passage ways of Elsinore in the master’s greatest masterpiece.
Kevin Dicker compellingly plays the Prince in all his quick-changing moods, out to revenge his father’s murder by his father’s brother – now married to Hamlet’s very briefly-widowed mother.
Dithering and agonising all the way, he manages to bring about the death of his mother, his lover, her brother, their father, – not forgetting the King’s men – until he finally manages to strike the intended target, then falls dead himself as an encore. Now that is tragedy!
Lorna Rees puts great passion into a rapidly disintegrating Ophelia, John Jameson-Davis is a very worthy windbag as Polonius and Gareth Richards breathes fire and impressively brandishes his sword as the grief stricken brother Laertes.
Guy Trevelyan-Martin is the cornered Claudius and Elizabeth Dickins the innocent – but not enough for her son – Queen Gertrude.
There’s also a splendidly Kenneth Williams camp cameo from Daniel Sutton as Osric.
Forget the wind and the rain – just remember the thermals and enjoy.