No wars with Norway. No Fortinbras. A murdering king, a perfidious queen, a ghost of kingship past, a maundering old fool, a garrulous gravedigger, a troupe of wandering players, a maiden driven into mewling madness and one prince hell-bent on vengeance. Plus, of course, the most deathless poetry ever spoken upon a stage.
Candles flare and lights brighten on another splendid set by Will Turbyne. Platforms, steps and bare-limbed trees — all white, black and a hundred shades of gray, as are Heidi Jo Schiemer’s 1932-ish, Vogue pattern-book costumes.
For his handsome, new, close-focused production of Hamlet at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (CSC), Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips has distilled and intensified the drama’s stark internals, stripping away affairs of state, concentrating on family conflict and reducing the running time to about three hours (four is the norm). This isn’t a Hamlet for all time, but it’s dandy for Halloween. Thursdays-Sunday through Nov. 16. $26; $22 seniors; $20 students.
Read the full review here.