I was able to watch Hamlet Redux at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrerro Theater Palma Hall in UP Diliman on December 6, Wednesday. It was an English version of the play.
This Hamlet version directed by Tony Mabesa was modernized but the poetry of Shakespeare's work was still there. The language was in old English like in the books and the famous lines were still intact. Some of the lines were hard to understand especially for an audience who is not too familiar with this work of Shakespeare. The language and most of the costumes were traditional but the production gave it a modern touch. They used pop-culture music as background and modern gadgets like the cell phone and ipod. By combining these, the play was brought closer to our time while preserving the traditional play of Shakespeare. The modernity of it also helped attract the attention of the audience like when Ophelia received a text message after Laertes left and the acts of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
From a Filipino context, the play was shocking and some scenes were scandalous. The play was full of violence, sex and death from the opening act until the end. Some scenes were too eye catching that I was not able to give attention to some of the lines. The characters' way of showing their affection to their relatives was too intimate that I were confused with their true relationships. There were kissing and touching between Hamlet and his mother Gertrude and between Ophelia and his brother Laertes. When I researched about this play, I read that there was really a controversy about the actual relationship of Gertrude and Hamlet. I think this play suggested the Oedipal complex of Hamlet.
The background music and images helped to create the proper atmosphere that the scenes suggested. The music and images supported and sometimes related the story and the lines of the actors and actresses. The choreography of the dances was good. The presentation of the fight scene between Hamlet and Laertes was really...
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