FRINGEWORLD 2017 – Half Hour Hamlet (4.5 stars)

Review by Laura Money

Well, folks, it’s in the title and Patrick Hercamp delivers exactly what is promised – Shakespeare’s Hamlet condensed into just half an hour, with every gruesome death, betrayal, and crazy outburst still just as articulated as ever. Hercamp is an affable performer – his enthusiasm and passion for his craft shines through as he warmly greets the crowd.

The audience file into the tent, not knowing that they are to get an experience very much like that of the Globe Theatre’s Groundings – encouraged to call out hilarious phrases such as ‘oh death’ and ‘oh poison.’ Hercamp reassures everyone that it doesn’t matter if you don’t understand (or dare I say, don’t like) Shakespeare, or have never read or seen Hamlet because it’s pretty much The Lion King and who hasn’t seen that?

Hercamp breaks down the barrier between Shakespeare elitists and regular plebs. He takes the emotion and vibe of the play and uses layman’s terms to retell the story. Picking a proxy Hamlet from the audience, Hercamp whips himself into a frenzy to explain what is happening to Hamlet every step of the way. His speech is manic, he acts the fool perfectly, yet allows for a still moment when he gets to the famous ‘to be, or not to be’ section.

Half Hour Hamlet takes what is one of the most well-known and important Shakespearean works and trims the fat, so to speak on the story. What is left is the essence of the tale, shame, anger, pain, heartache, joy and all. Hercamp performs with such reverence and passion for the script that even when he’s acting tongue-in-cheek and exposing some of the silliness of Shakespeare, it is obviously from a place of love.


When: 6th -13th February 2017 | 7:00pm

Where: Black Flamingo | The Pleasure Garden | PERTH

Tickets: $11 – $17

Info: Duration 30 minutes | Suitable all ages