Why you should see Hamlet in Hull this week

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By Amanda Ward
Theatre Reviewer for What’s On Hub

First of all I have to make a confession. I don’t particularly like Shakespeare. I spent three years of an English Lit degree avoiding him. Why say fifty words when ten will do?

But I was surprised last night as I went to an opening night performance from the Internationally renowned Royal Shakespeare Company who were performing their modern twist of Hamlet.

I must admit, this was an outstanding production and whether you’re a Shakespeare fan or not, I’d recommend you head to Hull New Theatre this week while it’s in town. Here’s why…

If you can imagine a setting where Denmark meets Africa. Although the script set Hamlet in Denmark, the scenery was distinctly African which actually suited the plot.

The audience were given a brilliant performance tonight by Paapa Essiedu as Hamlet supported by an excellent cast of actors and musicians. African drum rhythms and song intertwined the acting, complementing the performance.

Costumes were a mix of Western and also colourful African prints, and the scenery reflected the African colours.

Ophelia was played by Mimi Ndiweni (she played Tilly Brockless in the TV series Mr Selfridge) who was breathtaking in her portrayal of Ophelia’s grief at her father’s death.

Hamlet enticed and entertained the audience who witnessed his descent in feigned madness. The final fight scene was brilliantly choreographed.

The whole show was really entertaining and a brilliant take on Shakespeare for a modern day audience.
To go or not to go? That is the question. The answer has to be GO. This is a fantastic performance and is not to be missed.

It’s showing at Hull New Theatre until this Saturday (17th Feb). You can grab tickets from just £15 at hulltheatres.co.uk, in person at the City Hall and New Theatre Box Offices, and by phone on 01482 300 306.

An interview with Hamlet star: Paapa Essiedu

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