Review: Hamlet in 15 Minutes

Peter Goers presents an immersive, whirlwind of a show that simultaneously laughs at and pays tribute to Shakespeare’s Hamlet

theatre review (adelaide) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 22 Feb 2024
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Fest magazine

Peter Goers’ Hamlet in 15 Minutes is a witty peek inside the chaotic world of Shakespearean theatre troupes. The cast of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, clad in bright fabrics and sporting rapiers, goblets and headdresses, lounge on a semi-circle of chairs in the garden, facing the audience. As the cast jostle each other, interrupting monologues and urging the narrator to ‘get on with it,’ the audience feels they’re party to a big inside joke.

Goers transports the classic play into the modern era with a clever mix of seriousness and 21st century humour. While Hamlet’s character remains traditional throughout the show, other characters point out the absurdity of his ideas in the modern day. As he tells Ophelia: ‘Get thee to a nunnery,’ Ophelia turns slowly to the audience and cries: ‘What the fuck?’, sending the audience into peals of laughter.

Characters add to the mirthful chaos by incorporating a variety of accents, ranging from Southern American to Mafia-style. While amusing, the accents occasionally rendered actors’ speech unclear, leaving the audience to rely on the corresponding action to make sense of a line.

That being said, the action was striking. Actors made the most of the garden space, running amok and over-dramatically collapsing. The rapier battle was breathtakingly immersive, with Laertes and Hamlet kicking up dust and sending leaves raining down as they exchanged blows.

Hamlet in 15 Minutes is a silly yet witty retelling of a classic play, that invites its audience to join the mayhem of the theatre world – if only for a short time.


Hamlet in 15 Minutes, Holden Street Theatres, until 17 March