Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Full to overflowing with Shakespearean references and musical pastiche, ‘Hamlet! – the Musical’ is an enjoyable and funny musical sprint. With plenty of laughs and some catchy tunes, it’s an entertaining show that’s worth catching.
‘Hamlet! – the Musical’ does exactly what you’d expect it to. Hurtling through the important bits of the plot, punctuated by amusing songs, it is funny, light-hearted, and well sung. This is the perfect show to lighten your load if you’ve been inundated with ‘serious theatre’ this fringe, and it should still make you chuckle if you haven’t.
Hamlet is played well by Jack Shallo (who resembles a ginger, emo, Wayne Rooney), with good comic timing and a great vocal belt. The rest of the cast are also thoroughly entertaining, all have great voices, and are supported by a live band, and a toe-tapping score. The plot unfolds with a pleasing chaos, with twists and turns both expected and unexpected, and a good old bad guy song mixed with some comedy choreography. But will it end traditionally? Well you’ll have to go and see…
Most importantly, the show fulfills an important requirement: If you’ve never seen Hamlet, then you’ll still be able to keep up; and if you’re an avid Shakespeare lover there are several lines just for you. Similarly the score makes for some pleasant listening on it’s own, but if you’re well acquainted with Musical Theatre then you’ll be hit with plethora of lyrical and melodic references at every corner. The resulting effect is very satisfying, and whilst one could complain that much – if not all – of the substance of the original has been lost, I don’t really think anyone was expecting to come out of this show with the all the tumultuous anguish normally associated with the Prince of Denmark.
Light hearted, and enjoyable, Hamlet is a wonderfully silly hit.