Hamlet: Viking Prince of Denmark

Theater, Shakespeare Free
4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Ian M. McDonald
Photograph: Courtesy Dena Rae Civello Ian M. McDonald

Black Henna Productions, in association with Theatre Beyond Broadway, moves among several NYC parks with a 90-minute adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy about revenge and procrastination. This version, which stars Ian McDonald in the title role, emphasizes the story's Viking roots by moving the action back 500 years to the 10th century. 

Average User Rating

4 / 5

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Ian McDonald gradually reveals himself worthy of the title role, and his performance does not leave the Shakespeare enthusiast wishing he had gone for it. He musters the volume (it matters in this venue), gravitas, and morosity needed to portray the black-garbed proto-modern protagonist admirably. Though there is little to suggest a 10th century setting beyond the costuming, come for the delivery. Laertes is believable, and Polonius must be a rising star. Though this helicopter dad is worth his weight in gold, from the pusillanimous fleece, to the somehow perfect, stumbling improvisation, to the wonderfully strained concern for his daughter, he is still light enough to carry offstage. Delightful.