I was a very lucky girl and treated to see Hamlet at the Almeida Theatre in Islington as a belated Birthday present. Long story short, I was supposed to see a production of Hamlet previously, but unexpectantly ending up spending that time in, hospital. But every cloud has a silver lining!
(Updated News at the end of the post 12/05/2017).
So naturally, I was extremely excited for this performance. I tried not to find out too much about it beforehand. As I wanted what they’d done to be a surprise. Although, I could tell from the publicity material that it was set in the present day. I loved this idea and was really excited to see what they’d done with the small and intimate space in the Almeida Theatre in Islington, London.
I hadn’t been to the Almeida before and had only seen the images on their website or on Google maps. They have a nice cafe serving food and drinks and tables to sit at. As well as a bar with where I was able to get a lovely cup of Decaf coffee to take back into the theatre with me. The foyer had places to sit around the sides and tables to stand at and have your drink during the intermissions. Of which there were two.
They also had lots of space for wheelchair access and ramps to get to the loo’s and into the theatre. You can read more about their accessibility here.
I was on the ground floor and didn’t see upstairs. But I did catch a peep of where the circle was and it seemed like they were able to get a great view.
I loved how they used the space. It felt really intimate and we were all so close to the action. We laughed together and I’m sure we all cried together. I can’t have been the only one to shed a tear. Robert Icke’s Direction is ingenious and looked like a lot of fun to make. You can see that a lot of work has gone into it by every department.
The cast would move through the audience and they all performed excellently. Really connecting with the audience and it didn’t feel over-rehearsed. Andrew Scott (as Hamlet) and Juliet Stevenson (as Gertrude) were especially captivating to watch. The entire cast brought something different and special to the production. Making it a great night and fully deserving of the extended standing ovation with gave them all.
Although I knew the story of Hamlet, I didn’t know how they were going to approach it. No idea what was coming next and in that respect and it was really thrilling and refreshing.
The stage design was really clever and incredibly intricate yet worked to help tell the story simply. I don’t want to spoil any of it for you. I wouldn’t want to take away the discoveries from you.
Each intermission was filled with chatter about what we’d seen and what we might see next. It was a very excited foyer awaiting the next act.
The performance left me with a lovely feeling that lingered for days. Even while writing this now and thinking back, it makes me smile.
I highly recommend, if you can, to go and see this.
Find out more about the production (inc. dates etc.) here.
The production is going to be showing for a limited time at the Harold Pinter Theatre, from June to September 2017. There’s more information on it here.
Thank you to Seat Plan for informing me of the fabulous news!
Are you going to see this production? Have you been to see it? If so, what did you think of it? What are you excited to see?
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All links provided are just to be helpful. All opinions expressed are my own. I was treated to the play by a loved one. Images included in the post are from my Instagram account here. Full Disclaimer available here.