Sport For Jove’s production of Hamlet is fresh, bold and simple – preferring to focus on the beauty of the text rather than relying on big sets and technical trickery. This is quite a triumph given that Hamlet like Macbeth is a Shakespearean classic that comes with a degree of expectation and legacy.
Running at around two hours without interval director Damien Ryan has thrown down the gauntlet to the audience and they willingly respond. Ryan has placed the story of Elsinore in a contemporary context which is clever and smooth without ever feeling contrived. Lindsay Farris in the lead role is exceptionally watchable. His grasp of this momentous undertaking is really quite impressive, however, there are times where he needs to be reined in. Eloise Winestock in the difficult role of Ophelia is a standout, as is John Turnbull as the intrusive but well-meaning Polonius.
The sound design adds another dimension and is complimentary. The open space of the Seymour Centre’s York Theatre adds to the grandeur and epic nature of the play, but there are times that the actor’s voices get lost.
There is something intangibly delicious about this version of Hamlet which is incredibly captivating and proves why Shakespeare is relevant today.
Until Jun 29, Seymour Centre, Cnr City Rd & Cleveland St, Chippendale, $20-32, 9351 7940, seymourcentre.com