Antic Disposition: OSF 2010 Hamlet

So I’ve seen traditional BBC-ish Hamlets and Oedipal Hamlets; I’ve seen political and philosophical and surrealist Hamlets; I’ve seen fey and ADHD and melancholic and existential and romantic and postmodern and Russian Hamlets. Cataloging them all makes me sound like dotty old Polonius. Could it be then that my “overexposure” to the material has made me love this quirky version so much, just because it’s a little different? Could it be that if I had only seen two or three prior productions, I might be less inclined to favor the—one might almost say— “eccentric” treatment given us here? I doubt it. It sure as heck wasn’t a Hamlet I would have ever come up with, were I a director; but it’s still one of my favorites, and I’d like to tell you why

But first, leave us acknowledge that in spite of glowing reviews (see here and here) groundling-grumblings have been noised abroad among some of the locals. (See here and here.) A couple of the production’s less “traditional” approaches have not met with universal approbation. Still, in my personal hearing at least, I think it is noteworthy that complaints have come exclusively from folks my age (56) or older, while the young people of my acquaintance (and family) have come away positively jazzed about this Hamlet.

Does this connote some sort of generation gap in theatrical and artistic sensibilities? If so that ‘s odd, given that we AARP-eligibles folk are products of the topsy-turvy Sixties & Seventies. (Did we, long ago, not worship at the altars of the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, whilst our elders bemoaned the Death of Music?) Still, it is rather amazing (and amusing) to note how many of us bardolatrous ex-hippies, even in a town as “progressive” as Ashland, have developed des idées fixes about how we want our Shakespeare (especially this Shakespeare) staged.

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Categories: BardStage and Hamlet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *