Friday, March 02, 2007

The Wooster Group's HAMLET: 03/01/2007

The Wooster Group's HAMLET is a near-masterpiece. Using the filmed version of Richard Buton's 1964 Broadway production, the Group recreates that filmed version on stage, almost entirely. And the source film has been digitally re-edited, erasing actors here and there, fast-forwarding through sections and just generally slicing the film in deliberately choppy ways – all of which is physicalized on stage. The closest analogy would be to say that The Wooster Group is “remixing” Burton's HAMLET. The sound design, always an important element of a Wooster Group show, is here outstanding. Scott Shepherd, in the title role, has never been better - this is his show. The current running time is slightly under three hours, including an intermission, and there were times I wished they had fast-forwarded a little more. I suspect the show might be tightened for it “official” premiere at The Public in the fall, but if you want to see what may be the full-length version of this show, get thee to St. Ann's Warehouse now.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am sure the excellent performers of the Wooster Group are enjoying themselves on this "Hamlet" but I found it tedious, never able to evade sounding like the Dictionary of Quotations. The stated objective was to recreate a famous 1964 performance as though it were an archaeological project but it just seemed like a campy paraphrase. The only heat I felt during those uncomfortable 3 hours was generated by the hellish St Anne's Warehouse space -if I was on the edge of my seat it was because my butt was numb from those awful chairs.