I would be an irresponsible theater group pied piper were I not to lasso Shakespeare inspired theater experiences into our calendar mix every now and again. I would also be lying if I did not reveal that my arrival to each Shakespeare interpretation is inherent with some hesitation and mild trepidation. To properly appreciate Shakespeare (unless you are in a Shakespeare Garden), I think, requires discipline and sustained concentration, with the quiet side concern – do I speak Shakespeare??
My preparation for our 3 hour and 45 minute Hamlet immersion at The Park Avenue Armory this past Friday was deliberate and methodical. I took a nap. The nap was followed by a 45 minute burst of medium intensity exercise (still obsessed with The Class by the by). I consumed copious amounts of water, showered, etc. and before leaving consumed an avocado and then an apple with sunflower butter (which is why I needed those chocolate covered pretzels Mary Anne – thank you!). Then I ventured off at 6:15pm for the 30 minute fast paced walk to The Park Avenue Armory to meet the other 15 pretty glorious people in the group who had also secured tickets to this show. I was ready.
And you know what? Not one second of my pre-show endurance theater goer preparation was one bit necessary. The second Robert Icke’s modern, shiny, and multi sensory interpretation of Hamlet began, I was enthralled and swept into the show from the very first minute to the last.
I won’t give too much away because the surprise of it all was absolutely part of the thrill of being an audience member. But let me say this – not for one nano second was I ever bored or reminding myself to PAY ATTENTION through the entire 3 hours and 45 minutes (with two intermissions). There is no way for you to be in the audience for this play and not want to pay attention until the final, arresting unravelling of Hamlet (expertly and convincingly played by Alex Lawther) and all that he holds dear as he exacts his revenge in an unexacting fashion.
I would be an irresponsible friend/theater group leader to not urge you to get Hamlet onto your theater going calendar. Once word gets out about this transformative, game changing, disruptor of a show, people will be flocking to The Armory as well they should. You absolutely need to experience this show.
We have two opportunities to do just that with this group: June 20th at 7pm and August 2nd at 7pm. I will be joining again on August 2nd because it is just that good and I have some questions about the way the first intermission, or pause as they called it, was handled. Click here to join.
If you ever get the opportunity to see a show at The Armory – absolutely take it. Entering the cavernous space is an experience unto itself. The creative maestros at the helm of this operation must be super deliberate with what they select to present. Only the most epic of the most epic can stand up to that expanse. And Robert Icke’s Hamlet is absolutely up to the challenge of competing with that space. The two actually are a perfect marriage if there ever was one.
If you care to support the arts and join at The Associate Level you get access to the private Patron Lounge. Click here to do that.
And now I need to find a date for us to see the companion work that is being shown in the same space by the same mad genius director Robert Icke : Oresteia. Stay tuned!
To go or not to go? You know my answer. Always GO!!