I love to see Shakespeare performed at any time, and there’s something special about seeing it outdoors. This year’s open air Shakespeare at Mona Vale is “Hamlet”. Tonight was the first performance, the audience was small (maybe 70) and it was cold, but well worthwhile!
I was surprised to find that Horatio had had a sex change and become Horatia. Later Guildenstern also appeared as a female. I suppose this is payback for all the Elizabethan times when female parts were played by men. “Hamlet” is probably the play with the most well-known lines, including ‘What a piece of work is man” made so familiar in “Hair”. Last century when I was in the sixth form, we spent hours over Hamlet’s graveyard scene, but this performance had only one gravedigger and none of the business about whether Ophelia deserved Christian burial.
They’d actually cut a few scenes, but the cast did very well, providing a most enjoyable evening’s entertainment. I particularly relished the final scene with corpses dropping in all directions.
The season runs until 20 February. Make sure you dress warmly.
“Some characters have changed their sex
and missing lines just may perplex.”