Today we went to Kentucky Shakespeare’s production of Hamlet and it was a wonderful play. If you like sword fights, skulls, or famous monologues, this play is for you. Our favorite character was Hamlet because in many of his scenes he was really funny. He was so funny because that was how he dealt with being crazy after his father died. In one scene, when Hamlet is talking to Ophelia while they are watching a play, he is being silly in talking about how he used to love her but doesn’t anymore, even though he is really crazy in part because his mother married his uncle so soon after his father died. He was so crazy he was contemplating murder and he came up with a very complicated plot to trick his uncle into revealing himself. He also spent some time talking to a skull. Hamlet was really mad in both ways; he was crazy with grief and he was very angry. Our favorite scene was the big fight scene near the end of the show. Jonathan O’Brian, who plays Hamlet, and Zachary Burrell, who plays Laertes, must have worked very hard because the fight is very complicated but looked perfect. Both Hamlet and Laertes each have a foil and a dagger to fight with and they move, run, and fight for a long time on stage.
If you want a clue on how Hamlet starts here it is. Hamlet’s father dies and his mother married his uncle very soon afterward. Then Hamlet’s father comes back as a ghost and tells Hamlet that the person “who bears the crown” killed him and Hamlet needs to avenge him. Also, Hamlet is the play that has one of the most famous monologues in all theatre, “To be or not to be, that is the question…” Another thing we liked was the costumes. One of our favorites was the Laertes costume. It had a black square on the chest and on the top of the arms and it looked really stylish. We think it would be great to wear a costume like that to a fancy restaurant or a museum. The costumes in this play are really what we think of when we think about Shakespeare. The gowns, the ruffled collars, and Laertes’ costume definitely set the mood for the play.
Hamlet shows again tonight and tomorrow and then will be part of the rotating shows July 15th through 27th. Also, with the over 1,000 people that saw the show last night, over 11,000 people have been to the Shakespeare Festival this year. The current record is about 12,000 so come out tonight and help break the record!!