Hamlet, Rose Playhouse Review, Bankside | London’s Best Theatre

“… for there is nothing good or bad, only thinking makes it so”.

I don’t want to say you’re wrong Hamlet but…

Diane Vucane’s Hamlet at the Rose Playhouse is good – fact. Very good in fact.

Vucane has successfully condensed Shakespeare’s Hamlet into a 90 minute highlight show – no mean feat. This allows for a swift show which keeps the audience’s attention throughout as key scene after key scene is unfurled.

Setting the pace is Chris Clynes as Hamlet. Whether playing a frightened Hamlet who sees the ghost of his father, to a remorseless schemer and killer, Clynes portrays the mercurial nature of the leading role with aplomb.

What also sets Hamlet apart from any other variation of Hamlet you’re likely to see in London is the Rose Playhouse itself.

Those, like me, who haven’t yet visited the Rose Playhouse and know little about it are in for a shock.

There can’t have been more than 50 seats, split into two rows. The stage little bigger than a studio flat in London. This plays to it’s advantage.

Being so close to the action (especially Hamlet’s enthralling finale) makes you feel involved. You forget about the productions simple and sparse staging and props. I guess all that is needed for Hamlet is (SPOILER ALERT!) a skull, swords and a cup anyway.

If you only see one production of Hamlet this year, make sure it’s at The Rose Playhouse. Hamlet runs until 26th February.

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