Bell Shakespeare have done it again… this time with a mind-blowing, gut-punching, heart-tearing Hamlet. In typical on-form Bell fashion it was the whole play, done in a simple, modern setting, using the original words and it was dirty, visceral, funny stuff.
With a cast that didn’t miss a beat, and with a lead – Josh McConville, who moved from impish grin to tears and despair so convincingly you wanted to alternately slap him, or hug him – it was an amazing play done so deftly as to amaze.
The sound and lighting design and the set and costume design are as much worthy of praise as the players, but my enjoyment of Josh McConville’s performance almost overshadows all those things I want to applaud.
He was remarkable as Hamlet.
Given his character’s emotional extremes and the fact he climbs the set, runs into the audience, rolls on the ground, fences and also has a huge amount of dialogue, it is awe inspiring to a non-actor like me that anyone pulls it off so well. A big congratulations and thank you to Josh McConville for providing such a Hamlet.
And a big thank you to all at Bell Shakespeare for, again, giving the gift of a living, breathing Bard.