Mario Claudio reviews HAMLET at Nuance Theatre.
A Thursday evening out to enjoy the work of the Bard which the Nuance Theater Co. production of Hamlet provided a unique experience. The stage was set in a unique octagon ring with a half foot dais on all sides and a long corridor down the back of center stage was used to convey a long hall and for the appearance of the Ghost. It was amazing how their set design started simple but with a few tabs and lifts it meta morph into the next necessary scene, chief example was the drawbridge that changed into the Grand Hall doors. The only issue with the design I notice was the lighting scheme, there were moments that the actors would be in complete shadow. I often wondered why the actors would purposely step into the shadows outside of the necessity from the scene they were in.
There are a few issues that I had with the performance overall. Even though it was a decent show, I felt it took a long time, both in the length of the play and in the actors taking too much air in their craft. Most productions of Hamlet truncate the overall works for a modern audience, which I do commend Nuance Theater Co. for going to the full length, but this sometimes shows the flaws in some actors technique. For instance, Jack Wink’s Hamlet was not the best I have seen, though his memorization was phenomenal, I felt his portrayal was more on par with a collegiate performance. Ethan Russell’s Laertes, was much on par with Wink’s as well, not bad but not memorable as well. In all honesty, I felt this was an off night for the group as a whole, except for a few that played multiple roles and Carlo Caparelli’s Polonius. Maybe it was playing the roles too long or just tiredness, it seemed stale and that was really unfortunate.