The Yr 12 Hamlet Trip- Our thoughts Izzy S + Scarlet A

A few weeks ago, the Year 12 English lit class took a day out to London to watch the infamous Shakespeare play Hamlet. For those who don’t know the main plot of Hamlet is centred around the Danish court and the character of Hamlet who after being exposed to the ghost of his father seeks revenge on his uncle.

We arrived in London around after a rather speedy train journey and then had a busy walk to the globe whilst attempting to catch up with Mr Hodson who was determined to reach our destination. Some of us (Scarlet A) wore shoes that were too small in the hopes of matching her outfit and at this point the shoes were already interfering with our speed.

Upon arriving on the Southbank, we split up for lunch most of the group went for pizza whilst me and the others (Lula I and Scaz A) went for a more exciting, exotic option of poke bowls which were really the highlight of the day and provided a good nutritional supply to get us through the 3 hours of Hamlet we were about to experience. At this time also we encouraged Scaz A to stop at the pharmacy and get blister plasters however she ignored our wise words and suffered the consequences later which you will find out.

We arrived at the globe with minutes to spare and were split again half of us receiving the good seats with a view whilst the others including myself had to cope with the bad seats where we were only able to view half of the stage. To my disappointment there were no backs on the benches which meant that we had to suffer with back pain for the whole 3 hours and 40 minutes however the globe made up for this by providing free water during the intervals. By then end of it most of us had either fell asleep or had chronic back ache however came away with a new perspective of Hamlet which was greatly beneficial for our A-level course. 

On the way back we still lacked the pace Mr Hodson did but, in our defence, we were walking through central London at rush hour and some of us (Scaz) started to really regret their choice of footwear. Lula, fed up with the complaints generously offered her Ugg’s which Scaz accepted with relief. But to her embarrassment faced several judgey looks from members of the public as well as from our own teachers (Mr Cocker and Mr Hodson) who urged her to put on her painful shoes due to health and safety concerns after all we were walking on streets which have a reputation of not being the safest. Upon arriving at the train station, we received great news that school had generously given us £6 each to spend on dinner. This called for an essential trip to maccies where we all attempted to figure out the best way to spend our money. We made the most out of this offer by getting 20 chicken nuggets which is the most essential menu item and the best way to end an eventful day. As a class we would like to express our thanks to Mr Cocker and Mr Hodson for taking us out to watch the play and deal with the many shennanigans our class pulls on a daily basis.

Here is Scarlet A’s review of Hamlet which earned her CFA which for those in lower school is very hard to accomplish when you hit sixth form. DISCLAIMER: if you weren’t there you might not understand most of the references but continue reading anyway.

Sean Holmes’s version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet was not what you would have expected. 

Sean starts the play off with pitch black lighting, and then it gradually got lighter as the characters lit the candle chandeliers. This original element of the play definitely represented the feel and true atmosphere of what a Shakespearean castle would have been like. However, for someone who has to keep a light on at night, I did not so much enjoy the spooky pitch blackness that appeared throughout the play, and neither did the person sat next to me as I clenched on their arm for comfort…

We also see how the play is repeatedly surrounded by a sort of well in the middle of the stage, which is where we witness the first sudden and shocking appearance of the ghost.

I liked how everything was surrounded by this idea of water, as it almost symbolised the strong, vital parts that create this play. The death of Ophelia was also displayed in the water, therefore linking to the original play of when she drowned herself in the stream.

Although, there was a strange part where Hamlet seemed to drown a teddy bear (poor thing) which, I guess, was Sean’s way of symbolisation; but perhaps more like a flashback to his own childhood bath-times where he stuck foam letters to the walls and played drowning with his toys as if they were falling off the titanic.

Later on in the play, there was a confusing rendition of the classic, Romeo and Juliet, where a lady, of which I am convinced was Doji Cat’s twin, performed Juliet’s statement line of “Oh Romeo, oh Romeo…”. This uncalled for and irrelevant part placed in by Sean did seem to confuse much of his audience as it turned into sarcastic comments of: ‘are we in the right place?’. However, like I said a second ago, I was more interested on hoping we would have a surprise performance of ‘B*tch I’m a Cow’ by Doja Cat after my boredom really engulfed me.

Overall, I found the play quite amusing at times, apart from the fact that I found that Sean must have been more interested in amusing and making the audience laugh than the actual meaning behind the play.

I did enjoy the unusual twists within it, which did somehow keep me somewhat interested whilst my back pain was increasing by the second, so in conclusion, the play was slightly entertaining, for the most part following the original, but definitely too long for my back and eyes to stand…

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