Bethany Lutheran College has created a very intriguing performance and interpretation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. To begin, upon first view of the stage I was in awe; the stage that BLC has created for this particular performance of Hamlet is remarkable. The set provides a rustic medieval such as the murky stone walls and steps, but it also perfectly adds a bit of a modern touch with the steel beams and glossy glass panels that were on the right and left of the stage. The set automatically gives one an impression of calm and serenity that really helps one relax and laser focus on the plot and the acting in this production of Hamlet.
Although the stage was exquisite, I personally felt as if the acting fell a bit melodramatic at times. In my opinion, I felt as if the acting in the opening scene could have been much improved; to say that the acting is bad would be a rash conclusion because it is not bad acting, one might just feel as if the acting contained no emotion at times. Marcellus and Bernardo are the two characters that I felt like could’ve expressed more emotion at times such as when the ghost appears, the fear that the two need to express in order to convince the audience of the terror was not present. The acting in this scene in particular seemed very rehearsed and like there was no passion or actual fear that is supposed to be present.
Although the acting may have fallen flat at times, there are also moments where the acting is superb. Personally, I found the “closet scene” between Hamlet and his mother to be the best portrayal of that scene yet; there was so much passion in emotion in the dialogue as well as with the body language. This interpretation of this scene felt so natural that I forgot I was watching a scene because it felt like a real life interaction between mother and son. Another place of strong acting are the soliloquies. These are the points within this particular play that really tie it together because one can really get a sense of the internal and external that the character Hamlet himself is facing and showing because of the astounding actor, Michael Lilienthal, who plays Prince Hamlet in this production.
All in all, the production of Hamlet by Bethany Lutheran College is a very well executed production because of the strong acting points such as the Prince’s soliloquies and the breathtaking stage. Though at times one may feel as if the acting falls flat, the acting is overall very well done, I personally just wish it would have been more consistent throughout the entire production. Personally I felt like it is overall a good portrayal of W. Shakespeare’s Hamlet and I would definitely watch it again.