I caught the opening night of Hamlet: A Performance Lecture by Shakespeare Demystified at penangpac this evening, and I highly recommend it. They will be in town until Sunday and then will be heading to KLPAC later in the month.
The Shakespeare Demystified Troupe never seems to disappoint, mixing lecture style analysis in-between pertinent scenes to give the audience an easily digestible evening of Shakespeare – not too heavy that one cannot understand and not too light as to change the original language. No, they stay true to the script but add their witty vignettes and camaraderie to make it a highly palatable evening.
This it the third performance I have seen from this troupe, witnessing “The Merchant of Venice” in 2012 and the amusing “The Merry Wives of Windsor” last year.
In this performance, they cleverly mixed and matched the actors, both male and female, to suit the particular scene, and they were not opposed to having a female play Hamlet as well. The narration, lectures, and scene introductions worked well, ending with the highly entertaining fencing scene at the end where everyone dies, as is typical of many Shakespeare plays.
The actors are never over-matched by the material and, indeed, soar to dramatic and poignant heights that both satisfy the audience while leaving them wanting more. The hour and a half production did move quickly, and as they hinted that a full-blown “Hamlet” production may be in the works for next year, one could only hope that it is true.
And please go check them out sometime this month.