The genius of this work is that it opens up to us what is really great about the writer: his vision of humanity, his craft as a composer of lyrical epics of the struggle of people to find their way in a world full of dangers, challenges, betrayals, confusions and blind-alleys. It leaves you knowing that you will never be able to think about the creator of Peer Gynt or Mrs Alving in the same way again. And you feel so very, very glad about that. At last.
There is no ghost, effectively no gravedigger scene, and the first two acts of the play have been telescoped so as to remove much of Hamlet’s delays and equivocations. Hamlet learns of his father’s murder by letter rather than a walk on the wilder side of the ramparts. What remains is a play of action rather than reflection, in effect a ‘Revenge Tragedy’, but one driven by adolescent angst and resentment of all forms of authority rather than by political or strategic calculations.