Blue Burdens and Hipster Horatio in Hamlet


Director Lyndsey Turner’s Hamlet surprised me a bit at the start with Benedict Cumberbatch, our Hamlet, wrapped in a loose brown sweater, sitting on the ground listening to vinyl. This production’s intro (as shown at Cinemapolis) is not the beginning that I am familiar with. While Hamlet broods, someone knocks on the door, and it’s Hamlet (not Bernardo) who shouts, “Who’s there!” — only, instead of his father’s ghost, it’s Horatio (Leo Bill), clad in a button-up and square-rimmed glasses, a knapsack and tattoos. I don’t know if I like the re-arrangement of the script, but as Hamlet and Horatio exchange words, the premise is set regardless and the anachronistic nature of the outfits tickles my fancy. It becomes clear rather rapidly that Cumberbatch plays an incredible Hamlet — charismatic, unflinching and dynamic, he prances around the stage with limber movements.