Unlike “As You Like It,” which Britain’s National Theater staged all-male in 1968, “Hamlet” is not concerned with the confusion of the sexes. But one of its concerns is sex, and as produced by the Roundabout Theater, it is stripped of its sexuality. Thankfully, this is not a sensationalized, sniggery “Hamlet” but it is largely a cold one. The two “girl” roles are played quite differently but with the double effect of cheating Hamlet of both Oedipal and romantic love, which leaves only half a Hamlet. Oddly the coolest performance, that of Philip Campanella as Gertrude, is the best in the production. Perhaps it should have been used as a basis for an approach. As it stands, there is no clear indication as to the purpose of this all-male “Hamlet” except as a different way to play “Hamlet” Mr. Campanella acts Gertrude straight with no serious attempt (besides his costume) to conceal his manliness. He seems, even looks, almost Japanese. It is a strange, unearthly, alienated Gertrude, but, I think, the most clearly designed portrayal on stage.
KeywordsYork Time Festival Director Final Scene Young Actor Philadelphia Inquirer
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.