The show may have ended but the positive feedback just keeps coming in!
The Dukes Young Actors and Young Company did everyone proud last week with their sublime production of Hamlet.
Having received such a staggering amount of feedback from the show, we wanted to continue to share these positive thoughts and keep the buzz of Hamlet alive even though the show has now ended.
If you were involved in the show or came to see it this is where you can find out what others thought of the production. If you didn’t come to see it this is where you can find out what you missed, so that next time our Young Actors and Young Company take to the stage you can make sure you don’t miss out again.
“a physical and forceful production with several original and highly-dramatic staging techniques, that betrays a great deal of commitment and, above all, talent.”
British Theatre Guide
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 20/04/2013 – 19:14.
Excellent production with some talented youngsters.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 20/04/2013 – 16:27.
Oh my god. That was amazing.
Left me feeling overwhelmed and emotional, but very alive.
Best Shakespeare production I have ever seen.
Exciting stuff. Wow.
A whole new Hamlet
Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 19/04/2013 – 15:48.
After seeing such an impressive production by The Dukes Youth Theatre last year in ‘The Unsociables’, I was eager to see how they would approach one of Shakespeare’s most produced plays. It is a daunting task to attempt to reinvent a play that the vast majority of your audience will already have seen, or be familiar with. I could not think of a director more suited to this task than Louie Ingham, whose experimental and neoteric approach to youth theatre hits a niche in the competitive theatre market. Traditional Shakespeare is done to death, but expect to see ‘Hamlet’ like never before in this new production.
Louie previously directed ‘The Unsociables’ with the Young Actors and Young Company; a dynamic, topical, original piece of theatre that fused acting with live music, freerunning and BMXing – an unforgettable theatre experience. ‘Hamlet’ is equally innovative, with a large cast working in seamless unity to produce a didactic and physicalized style of theatre. It is certainly a ‘reworked’ version of Shakespeare’s original script – new scenes interspersed throughout provide the audience with unique insights into the characters which gives the play a whole new meaning. Louie has made Shakespeare accessible and appealing to all ages by giving ‘Hamlet’ a modern twist through an eclectic combination of physical and naturalistic forms of theatre performed by a unified ensemble heavily complimented by symbolic props, sound, lighting effects and live music. Providing young people with the chance to appreciate Shakespeare’s work come alive on stage is commendable, and in achieving this Louie deserves the highest praise.
The play is held together by a strong cast who all perform with maturity and professionalism. The high energy is maintained through engaging performances and quick, smooth transitions. Lucas Button portrays the complexity of Hamlet with such a high level of skill that only the most gifted actors can achieve. I can honestly say I have never, and may never again see an actor portray Hamlet with such authority and sophistication. Not once did the audience question the credibility of his performance. Seeing Lucas entirely consumed by his role just shows that (in special cases) age and training are irrelevant in the performing arts; if you’ve got it you’ve got it, and Lucas certainly does have it. But it was not just Lucas that shone in ‘Hamlet’. Ruby Henderson and Alex Kerfoot who played Gertrude and Claudius delivered equally gripping and moving performances and played well off each other’s energy. Both overcame the challenge of portraying age in youth by adopting mature idiosyncrasies with ease. Gertrude and Hamlet’s confrontation in the death of Polonius was particularly memorable; Ruby found the perfect balance of maternal compassion and disbelief, adding depth to an otherwise shallow character. Her conflict of emotions was evident as she refused to believe the extent of her son’s madness. The heartache of a mother was tangible in Ruby’s tragic breakdown, her choking sobs deeply affecting. Ella McVickers embraced the role of Ophelia with sympathy, and effectively portrayed the mental transition of Ophelia as madness and hysteria descends. Furthermore, spending a prolonged amount of time trapped in a coffin on stage is an uncomfortable experience that shows the admirable dedication of the young actors.
Every performance was rehearsed to an exceptional degree, culminating in a shattering whirlwind of destruction that left the audience overwhelmed and enthralled. A must see.
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 18/04/2013 – 22:05.
A truely captivating performance from the whole cast on thursday evening, it really did make me feel part of the play, some raw emotion coming from certain members of the cast who I can see are going to go very far in acting, I look forward to seeing more from all at The Round & congratulate them for putting on a Fantastic performance. Also a huge thankyou to louie for allowing me to over see the rehearsals for a day, it gave me an insight into the hard work that goes into making a production such as this.
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 18/04/2013 – 17:46.
I came to see Hamlet to support my school friends, and knew the lead Lucas and others were superb actors. I was blown away and brought to tears with this performance!! I can’t stop talking about it and telling people to get last min tickets!! Coming again on Saturday! Well done guys! love sades!
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 18/04/2013 – 13:03.
LSA think Hamlet was amazing, we also think the boy who played Hamlet was very good looking!
Love the LSA girls!
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 18/04/2013 – 09:07.
Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 17/04/2013 – 18:18.
At one point in last night’s performance of Hamlet, I wondered whether my son would return as Lucas, or whether he had actually metamorphosed into the character he had lived and breathed for the last seven months. At another point I wanted to shout out to those who seemed to betray him, to support him and protect him as his Mother, Gertrude, eventually does – but it was too late and impossible. His torturous journey was magnified to such a pitch by the ensemble around him that it was painful to witness, light moments were a relief but always momentary and the fleeting lightness lost in a thought, a word, an action. The anger at his Mother and Uncle so swiftly grew out of control, as if a tornado had swept into his craziness – there was a feeling of raw helplessness as you watched such depth of human emotions rage and rant in front of you. Louis has to be congratulated to foster and enable this talent to emerge from these young people who became one, who lived and breathed every word spoken, every look and deed. The cast, the team, the musicians have to be applauded for their performance and the crew for their support. I was relieved, secretly overwhelmed with joy, to see in the after show talk-back, that Lucas was once again Lucas. Phew. He was bloody good. Though I say it myself. What a creation. Thank you, Fiona
Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 17/04/2013 – 06:19.
You all were amazing and filled with energy, and especially hamlet who captured his madness very well and portrayed it brilliantly, you should all be very proud for there is a lot of talent here.Well done
SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENTS
A selection of comments left via Facebook (The Dukes, Lancaster) and Twitter (@TheDukesTheatre)
“Saw the show on Thursday and was blown away. Some of the best youth theatre I have ever scene. Well done to everyone involved and thanks to Louis for spending time after the show to chat through the process.”
“Brilliant to see energetic, re-imagined, gripping teenage tragedy in Hamlet @TheDukesTheatre! Well done to all involved.”
“Hamlet is a must see! Last night tonight – incredible energy and soundtrack. Talented bunch of kids @TheDukesTheatre”
“Hamlet @TheDukesTheatre was absolutely the best! Stunning performances, boundless energy,commitment & TRUTH. Astonishing”
“Saw the play last night, it was absolutely fantastic and a real joy to watch! Well done to everyone involved!!”
“@TheDukesTheatre incredible production of Hamlet ! well done for supporting young people!!!”
“Lovely work from a lively youth ensemble at @TheDukesTheatre. Great to see a performance space alive w bodies and intention. Well done all!”
“Saw the show Tuesday ,well done to the entire ensemble it’s absolutely brilliant ,Lucas Button is superb ,’twas an evening of ‘Sublime Madness ”
“Hamlet @TheDukesTheatre blew me away.”
“Hamlet @TheDukesTheatre was thoroughly enjoyable this evening. Some great performances and wonderful to see such enthusiasm for Shakespeare”
“A truely captivating performance from the whole cast on thursday evening, it really did make me feel part of the play, some raw emotion coming from certain members of the cast who I can see are going to go very far in acting, I look forward to seeing more from all at The Round & congratulate them for putting on a Fantastic performance. Also a huge thankyou to louie for allowing me to over see the rehearsals for a day, it gave me an insight into the hard work that goes into making a production such as this.”
“Completely blown away by #Hamlet@TheDukesTheatre this evening- what talent!! Congratulations to everyone involved x”
Click on the links below to read reviews of the production.
The British Theatre Guide – “a physical and forceful production with several original and highly-dramatic staging techniques, that betrays a great deal of commitment and, above all, talent.”
Lancaster Evening Post – “an energetic, intelligent and passionate spectacle.”