Benedict's Hamlet is sarcastic, mean, aloof to his girlfriend and vicious to his mother. He also hams up the supposed mental illness for all its worth, causing much laughter in the auditorium as his Hamlet mocks himself up as a toy soldier brought to life just to confuse and baffle those around him.
Hallelujah! Josie Rourke has finally staged an original play written by a woman at the Donmar Warehouse. Until now, all the original works staged during her tenure have been written by men<. But now we have Splendour, an early work from the very talented Abi Morgan (Suffragette, The Iron Lady) and it's a gem.
Its premise is simple but layered with complexity. Jackie (Ricardo Chavira) is out on parole and back in the arms of the woman he's loved since he was a teenager, Veronica (Flor De Liz Perez). And this time he's going to make a go of it. He's given up the drug dealing for a job as a security guard and he's got a sponsor to help with his addictions. This time he's going to get it right.
What is hang about? I cannot tell you. What happens in it? Even after watching it, I do not know for sure. Everything in this play is a little elusive. Facts, motivations, even names, place and time. Yet this is a play that plunges headlong into a dark situation where victim's justice is taken to its farthest point.
Golem is a dazzling visual feast with a biting social commentary that's enough to put a spring in the step of even the most jaded theatre-goer. In a show that fuses performance with animation, film and music, Golem challenges us to confront the lie that we've been sold - that technology will set us free.
Anthony Sher is the star casting as Falstaff and, of course, he is superb. Everything about his performance is superb - the delivery, the warmth, Falstaff's arrogance and his manipulation of those around him, and that great speech on the eve of war on the perversity of honour is moving and powerful.