A professor of mine once declared Hamlet an impossible play to stage. The intricate plot, ambiguous motivations, the weight of centuries of study, and the idolization of every word added up to an unassailable mass of expectations and preconceptions no director in his right mind would assay.
"Daredevils' Hamlet" at the Neo-Futurarium does its level best to tackle this arguably un-produceable work. "Tackle," indeed; the five actors literally throw themselves at the walls, the audience, and each other in the course of wrestling with the idea of Hamlet. With boundless energy they deconstruct themes, characters, and implications that speak to them and reconstruct them in an inimitable Neo-Futurist manner. I've never left the Neo-Futurarium without laughing heartily, sitting stunned in breathless silence at the ragged beauty of a moment, and feeling touched to the core by a daringly candid performance. Last night's opening of Daredevil Hamlet is no exception.
Some moments are more effective than others. In a piece of such seat-of-the-pants experimentation there are bound to be elements that click, some that fizzle. But the work defies critique; the performers are so unfailingly honest, bold in their choices, and exuberantly funny that to parse the piece and talk of "effective moments" and other such theatrical saws does their commitment and thoughtfulness a disservice.
I encourage everyone to see this play - for "play" it is: for, of, by, and about the people. It builds community through story. You may learn something about Hamlet, too, along the way. This morning found me paging through the first act, rereading with fresh eyes of the guard’s fear, Horatio’s skepticism, the appearance of the apparition. Go, play foursquare before the show with the cast, and enjoy.