REVIEW: Hamlet, Roker Park, Sunderland, Until July 5

Theatre Space North East's Hamlet is running in Roker Park, Sunderland. Picture by Durham Photography.
Theatre Space North East's Hamlet is running in Roker Park, Sunderland. Picture by Durham Photography.

This isn’t your typical production of Shakespeare.

Theatre Space North East has taken Hamlet outdoors to Sunderland’s picturesque Roker Park.

The huge audience – that grew along the way – followed the Shakespearean tragedy around the park as it unfolded in different locations.

The story follows the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet (Jacob Anderton), depressed over the loss of his father, the King.

When his father’s ghostly form appears to him to reveal that he was murdered by his own brother Claudius (Dale Jewitt), who has married Queen Gertrude (Eilidh Talman) and become King, he sets out for revenge.

Meanwhile, his love interest Ophelia (Kylie Ann Ford) is slowly driven mad by the events.

Theatre Space North East's Hamlet is running in Roker Park, Sunderland. Picture by Durham Photography.

Theatre Space North East's Hamlet is running in Roker Park, Sunderland. Picture by Durham Photography.

Anderton is a strong lead and a passionate performer, who had the audience completely gripped.

As Hamlet pretends to go crazy to trick his uncle, Anderton’s eccentric behaviour had everyone tickled.

He is fantastic opposite Ford who is a captivating leading lady. Right from the off, the audience is on her side, which means it’s all the more heartbreaking when she is slowly driven to her death.

She was simply haunting in the scenes that depict Ophelia’s madness and portrayed her torment perfectly.

Ford and Anderton’s monologues are equally enthralling and powerful – they had every audience member’s undivided attention.

Ford and Anderton’s monologues are equally enthralling and powerful – they had every audience member’s undivided attention.

Each of the cast members gave passionate performances.

The only downside was the rude passers-by who insisted on shouting profanities in an attempt to ruin the show.

But much to the actors’ credit, they didn’t once lose focus or falter because of the few bad-mannered member’s of the public who decided to make a show of themselves.

Theatre Space North East's Hamlet is running in Roker Park, Sunderland. Picture by Durham Photography.

Theatre Space North East's Hamlet is running in Roker Park, Sunderland. Picture by Durham Photography.

The costumes were gorgeous, particularly the ones worn by Ophelia and Gertrude, who both looked stunning.

The staging was very different to your average show, but that’s what makes Theatre Space North East so wonderful.

Under the helm of director Corinne Kilvington, the cast really made the most of the spaces they were using and each worked wonderfully with its corresponding scene.

I thoroughly enjoyed Hamlet, and I know you would too.

Hamlet runs in Roker Park again tonight. Meet at the beach entrance at 7pm.

Twitter: @vickinewmanjp