Bouncy Castle Hamlet
Setting Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy on a bouncy castle is exactly the type of am-dram silliness people expect from the Fringe. In that respect Bouncy Castle Hamlet most certainly doesn’t disappoint: some of the cast can’t act, Hamlet appeared not to have bothered learning any of his lines for the second half, and there’s more corpsing than in the average mausoleum.
But there’s a bouncy castle involved and, for all the actors’ ineptitude, Strolling Theatricals has stumbled on something rather brilliant. A Bouncy Castle Much Ado About Nothing, or indeed any sort of inflatable take on a Shakespearian comedy, wouldn’t work half so well. But take a tragedy and suddenly you have a comic metanarrative of genius proportions. Here the original text is recast as a hilarious physical farce. Of course, much of the humour simply comes from the movement, which looks extravagantly silly. But the whole production crackles with ideas, the best being the play within the play: with brilliant flippancy it’s here staged as a bouncy castle within a bouncy castle.
A perfectly choreographed and acted Bouncy Castle Hamlet would be a thing of wonder, and potentially a huge hit. This production is certainly none of those things, but if it’s a very rough gem, it’s a gem nonetheless.
Until Aug 19 2007, Rocket @ Demarco Roxy Art House (V115), 11am. www.rocketvenues.com
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