NEW YORK TIMES
“The actors’ transformation happens gradually, in front of us, before the lights go down. As the audience settles in at the Theater at St. Clement’s, the performers pluck items of rich clothing from the bounty laid out onstage — a laced corset here, a gilt-edged ruff there — and piece by piece become inhabitants of Hamlet’s world, not ours.”
“…Ms. Gachechiladze makes design the real star. On the curving, white-string curtain backdrop, lush and fantastical projections by Michael Ivanishvili take us from room to room in the palace, where some walls drip and melt. Others have eyes and ears.”
"A politically minded caper by the Russian writer and dissident Boris Akunin"
"full of intrigue... lush and fantastical!"
TIMES SQUARE CHRONICLES
“Hamlet. A Version Should Be the Only Version of Hamlet!”
“Boris Akunin’s rendition of Hamlet, Hamlet. A Version, is probably the most intriguing version of Hamlet I have ever seen. The retelling focuses on political corruption and thirst for power.”
“Though none of the actors are weak, Joy Hermalyn as Gertrude and Khris Lewin as Horatio stand out above the rest, and the scene between them, in which one cunningly manipulates the other to the edge of their comfortable lies, is masterful.”
“Hamlet. A Version is politically relevant, entertaining and intriguing. The production is cohesive and cast is exceptional. Overall, Akunin’s reworking of an well-known story is riveting.”
“Akunin’s script is dazzling, and his new (or should we say alternate?) Hamlet is a breathtaking journey: full of wit, humor, tragedy, and twists.”
“Aided by digital projection, lighting, and wonderful Elizabethan costumes, Hamlet. A Version moves along smoothly from start to finish. The atmospheric setting (The Theatre at St. Clement’s) and Giya Kancheli’s imaginative score further contribute to the play’s sense of enchantment.”
“In the role of Prince Hamlet, Matt Weiss exceeds expectations. Anyone presupposing a brooding, self-reflective Hamlet in the vein of Kenneth Branagh is going to get a rude awakening. Weiss’s Hamlet is boisterous, incompetent, and frequently drunk. Despite all of that, however, he manages to be compelling.”
“Michael Propster, who plays Guildenstern (and later Osric) with brilliant hilarity”
“Obviously, I’m not suggesting we throw Shakespeare’s Hamlet out the window. But every now and then, we need something like Hamlet. A Version to shake things up and give us a new perspective. Akunin’s play does that perfectly. And I think even Shakespeare would approve.”
"witty and sharp language... from a writer particularly sensitive to political upheavals and crime"
THEATRE IS EASY
“Shakespeare’s Hamlet, made into a detective story, investigates international political intrigues and flirts with the dichotomy between fiction and reality.”
“Playwright Akunin, mostly known for his series of detective novels set in nineteenth-century Russia, investigates Hamlet like a homicide case and presents his speculation in Hamlet. A Version. Keeping the pivotal points of the classical text largely intact, Akunin shifts the focus to Horatio, Hamlet’s friend.”
“…the ambitious and fresh interpretation of the classics, slick minimalistic design and potent cast make for good ingredients and hold the show afloat.”
“Striking presentational elements, terrific direction, fine performances and an interesting concept”
“Michael Ivanishvili’s projection design is outstanding!”
“Director Irina Gachechiladze’s staging is lively, swiftly paced and has an artful precision that would be successful in a production of the actual Hamlet. Most crucially, Ms. Gachechiladze has gotten pleasing results from an eclectic group of mostly American actors, several of whom play multiple roles.”
“Joy Hermalyn is an excellent Gertrude, conveying all of the necessary regality and fragility. The British James Phillip Gates is a delightfully droll Claudius. With his smooth voice and sympathetic presence, Khris Lewin makes for a terrific Horatio."
"Alan I. Ross’ Polonius is marvelously pompous, and Mr. Ross shows up to fine effect in his appearances as different characters. The athletic Michael Hammond’s Laertes is warmly heroic. In the relatively truncated role of Ophelia, Claire Brownell makes a lovely impression with her expressive eyes, facial features and wistfulness."
"Owen Scott and Michael Propster are wonderfully amusing as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and exhibit their dramatic talents in several other roles.”
“The music compositions by Giya Kancheli are moving.”
“The entire cast is splendid in their acting”
“Akunin is brilliant!”
“A fresh interpretation of Hamlet has hit the NY stage!”
“Minimal in set design, the impressive use of projections and lighting makes the atmosphere in each scene a character in itself!"
“Solidly directed with clever stylistic choices by Irina Gachechiladze and lead by a powerhouse cast, Hamlet. A Version does a fantastic job at keeping the audience engaged and on the edge of their seats. Clocking in at 100 minutes long, it is a fascinating, well-thought exploration of the human condition. Do not miss your opportunity to experience this phenomenal production!”
“a multi-layered murder mystery”
“Brownell’s physicality gives this scene a mystical air, like a wood sprite returning to nature. With her hair undone and her proper dress of ruffle and collar gone, she moves gently through the space with a twig broom, “cleansing” the world around her. “
“Scenes are made more spectacular by Giya Kanchelli’s sound score which feels light, like pinpricks on the skin.”
“There is an unexpected twist at the end, but along the way, Akunin explores Shakespeare’s Hamlet in a nuanced way that leaves an impression that remains longer after the show is over.”
TIME OUT NY
One of "the Best Off-Off Broadway" shows!