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Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Buxton 2010 arrow Review: Green Eggs And Hamlet
Review: Green Eggs And Hamlet
Written by Richard Stamp   
Published on Sunday, 11 July 2010

It's hard to dislike a show whose programme entry warns "Contains crass treatment of Shakespeare", and there's a part of me - OK, a big part - which finds Green Eggs And Hamlet a truly inspired idea.  Recasting a deathless classic in the narrative style of Dr Seuss? I'm almost sold.

It turns out, though, that there's a reason Shakespeare didn't work exclusively in rhyming couplets. To be sure, a few of the lines raise a genuine guffaw: I defy the crustiest of dons to remain po-faced at gems like "My husband, I bring sombre news / Ophelia drenched from head to shoes". The script also shows a deft touch in modern idiom, bringing unexpected neologisms crashing in at the most wonderfully inappropriate of moments. But you'll need to hunt patiently for these flecks of gold; the central joke, I'm afraid, quickly got old.

Some intervals of physical comedy helped lift the pace.  Sadly I don't have the actors' names, but it's worth a shout-out to Polonius, for his ineffectual concealment behind a tiny curtain and subsequent resistance to leaving the stage.  Hamlet, too, made hay with his character's "madness", and perhaps did the most to sell his Seuss-inspired lines.

There was, in short, plenty to confirm that the idea was a good one - but it's a good idea for a 10-minute sketch, not a 50-minute play. The eggs aren't rotten in the state of Denmark... but they are, I fear, a little over-done.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Buxton 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.