MIDDLEBURY - The National Theatre has a way of taking classics and making them seem absolutely fresh. That's certainly the case with its very hip production of Hamlet, which will be broadcast at Middlebury's Town Hall Theater on Dec. 10.
This modern-dress production - one reviewer called it "Hamlet in a Hoodie" - has received rave reviews in London. The London Times gave it five stars, praising its "clarity, relevance and courage" and stating that "this Hamlet is for now." Director Nicholas Hytner treats the play like a contemporary political thriller - entirely appropriate, as the Denmark of the play is rife with intrigue and has just undergone a brutal regime change.
The Independent called it "a chilling production that demands to be seen."
32-year old Rory Kinnear plays the title role. His Hamlet is a real person, something of a loner, who gathers strength and determination as the play progresses. The Daily Telegraph raved that "you can follow every shade of thought and flicker of emotion in his soliloquies, which are delivered with a beautiful mixture of intellect and feeling."
THT Executive Director is excited about the broadcast. "We sometimes put Shakespeare on such a high pedestal that we forget these are really great, really entertaining plays. Sometimes it takes a production like this to allow us to see them with fresh eyes." Anderson thinks this would be a great introduction to Shakespeare for young people, and he has received permission from the National Theatre to offer a special $10 student ticket.
"A really fine production like this can open a whole new world of theater to a young person. This won't be some stuffy classic but rather an intense and exciting story. I hope grown-ups will grab a young person and bring them to this Hamlet."
Hamlet will be broadcast on Friday, December 10, at 7 pm at Middlebury's Town Hall Theater. Tickets are $17, with a special $10 ticket for students. Tickets may be purchased at www.townhalltheater.org, 802 382-9222, at the THT Box Office (Mon-Sat, noon-5 pm) and at the door, if available.