Lake Braddock Secondary School HamletBy Cappies • May 9th, 2007 • Category: Cappies
“Hamlet” features Cameron Doucette
Lake Braddock Secondary School’s innovative version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet masterfully blended the classic and the modern in a story of corporate deceit and scandal. Adapting the text and reversing genders for certain characters added subtle nuances not seen in more traditional versions. Use of projectors and lighting (Raychel Trump) also contributed to the updated feel, while Hamlet’s (Cameron Doucette) story was just as pertinent to today’s audience. Doucette captured the timeless character with uncommon emotion, wit and presence. Doucette appealed to the audience in the well known “to be or not to be” soliloquy and moved among the aisles as he proclaimed that “the play’s the thing”.
In the opening moments of the show, the characters appear in mourning for the deceased former King Hamlet. This tableau was artfully staged and helped give exposition to a complex plot. Other blocking choices, such as the death of Ophelia (Katie Baukin) plunging from a diving board into the watery depths of a hooded ensemble, made powerful statements. Baukin played Ophelia with sentimentality and an eerily shimmering voice. Scenes between Doucette and Baukin revealed a level of maturity and intensity. Also of note were Jessie Holder (Gertrude) and Brandon Duncan (King Claudius) who played up the predatory nature of Claudius against the female Polonius (Jenny Fornoff) and Laertes (Allison Stein).
Aside from some distracting scene transitions, the show flowed almost seamlessly with the use of the projectors to show the ever present glow of the “Elsinore Industries Head Quarters” emblem, or the ghost of Hamlet’s father (Nathan Black) through Hamlet’s eyes, or as security monitors reflecting the action on the stage. Sets (Tami Grossman) and costumes (Sarah Purgal) contributed significantly to the interpretation of the production.
“Gertrude and Claudius” features Jessie Holder and Brandon Duncan.
Strong choices and a deep understanding of the text made Lake Braddock’s Hamlet a poignant modern take on the classic tragedy.
by Elizabeth Venz of Robinson. Photographs by Cindy Tiemann.
This review was written by a Cappies high school critic. The Cappies were founded in 1999, for the purpose of celebrating high school theater arts and providing a learning opportunity for theater and journalism students. You can learn more at cappies.com.
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