Actors showcase drama and humor in “Hamlet”

by Editor-in-Chief Monday Sanderson

Fast-paced music, a minimalistic stage and amazing acting from the Aquila Theatre actors worked together to create a powerful performance of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” in Norton Auditorium.

This story of Hamlet as he attempts to take revenge on his uncle Claudius for the murder of his father is filled with drama and tension.

Before the play even began, the audience was treated to eerie and distorted music. While this was playing, a silent film version of “Hamlet” was playing on the background screen. This introduction set the atmosphere for the rest of the evening.

When the play did begin, it began with energy and loud sound.

The sound of drums, similar to African beats, filled the auditorium. The actors ran onto the stage and each began to do different activities. Some were dancing, two held each other in a close embrace and one was dying.

Before the official story started, the company showed the death of Hamlet’s father.

This intenseness did not just occur at the start, but it happened throughout the entire play. Whether it was the comedy scenes or the monologues, the actors brought their best.

Since “Hamlet” is a tragedy, there are many death scenes in the play. It began with Hamlet’s father crawling around the stage while dying and ends with four characters laying dead as the lights go out.

These four characters are Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, Claudius, Horatio and Hamlet.

This last scene of the play was very powerful because of the music and the action occurring all at once. While Hamlet is sword fighting with Horatio, Gertrude accidently drinks poison. These two separate actions culminate together and clash until the audience is left with death.

However, even with all of this tragedy, Shakespeare ensures there is still humor in his writing.

The comedy scenes were some of my favorites due to how the actors interacted with each other and their gestures.

In most cases, the jokes were evident based on the words, but for the times when the Shakespearean language became too confusing, then the actor’s body language helped to complete the connection.

This usually came through gestures to the lower half of their bodies.

While this was a great play, it did have its imperfections.

One of the main flaws of the play did not come from the acting but, instead, from the technology.

Through the entire play, the actor’s voices would lose some of its booming qualities, due to issues with the microphone and other amplifiers, but then it would come back. This fluctuation of sound was slightly distracting, but it did not make the play impossible to understand.

Overall, the play was amazing, and if I had the chance to see them perform it again I would. While the play did go over time, three hours instead of two, and there were technology issues, I was never bored throughout the performance.