Hamlet: To see or not to see? There’s really no question

Matt Sowell

Last night, students encountered a political thriller taking place in a futuristic dystopian society where every move made was monitored on film.

Hamlet, presented at the Black Box Theatre, is a major success and should not be missed. Run to the Center for Arts and Theatre to see this show.

The show is sort of Hunger Games meets House of Cards meets Shakespeare. The second you enter the theatre, you feel as though you’re in the middle of The Capitol waiting for the Hunger Games to begin. The set is impressive, surrounding the audience in an eerie futuristic maze.

From the set to the acting, every aspect of this play seemed professional.

A good portion of the show takes place on video, giving the show another layer. The quality of the films was good, and the way they were incorporated into the story was neat. The most impressive scene was Ophelia’s suicide, which was filmed underwater. The scene was eerily realistic as the audience watched her crazed body sink to the bottom of the pool.

The cast of this production is huge, 25, and they manage to not have a single weak point. Every member of the ensemble was on point.

Tsiambwom Akuchu played the lead role of Hamlet, his passion and angst was intense in every scene. He played the angst and wit required for Hamlet incredibly well, bringing the audience to the edge of their seat.

Tatyana Arrington portrayed hamlet’s mother, she was powerful in her struggles through the show. She also looked incredibly fierce in all of her costumes, making it exciting to see what she would be wearing in each scene.

Jenna Lancaster took audiences on a bit of a rollercoaster. In the first act, we fell in love with her girlish charm and her love for her father who was played by Colin Hancock. In the second act however, everyone was downright scared of her. Crazed, she sang various demented songs while passing out dead flowers and wearing a scarf covered in skulls. The performance was chilling.

Whitaker Gardner portrayed Hamlet’s evil uncle. The character was evil enough to make Frank Underwood proud. His sinister presence on stage was gripping up until the very end.

Finally, a shout out to Katie Pearson. She played the role of a security guard and sat in a surveillance booth for 90 percent of the show. She stayed in character the entire times and deserves credit for looking badass and being on stage for most of the show.

A bit of advice for those who are planning to attend; read up on the play. The modern setting makes it easier to follow, but the language is still a bit hard to understand. Find a summary of the play online and get the gist of it. If you know what’s happening, it’s a stellar experience.

There’s no question, Hamlet is a five star hit that should not be missed.

Hamlet runs through April 9 at the Center for Arts and Theatre’s Black Box Theatre. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m.