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19 December 2003 @ 04:13 pm
To Sleep, Perchance To Dream  
So, last night a bunch of us went to go see the play that UCC's LGB society was putting on, called, "To Sleep, Perchance To Dream," a "retelling" of Hamlet (it wasn't really, but I'll get to that). Before I discuss it, I will explain the plot (and you need to know that Horatio and Hamlet are both female here).

Horatio has a freaky dream where she sees her lover Hamlet being pulled away from her and promised to marry Laertes. It turns out to be true, but Laertes is scarcely there for a moment before he is sent away on a mission elsewhere. He briefly tries to console Hamlet, believing that her grief is due to the death of her father, but obviously fails. Horatio attempts to dissuade Hamlet from marrying Laertes, but Hamlet cites her duty to the state of Denmark and tries to return Horatio's love letters (Hamlet had a freaky dream too, but I don't remember what it was). Meanwhile, Ophelia knows what is going on, and plots with her evil minions Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to have Hamlet and Horatio perform in a play which will force them to reveal their feelings for each other in front of Queen Gertrude. It doesn't work, unfortunately--Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are successful in getting the two to perform the play, but the play reveals nothing. Afterwards, Ophelia reveals the love letter (which Horatio had thrown down in disgust instead of accepting) to Gertrude. Gertrude sees Horatio and Hamlet caught in flagrante delecto, and in despair, hangs herself. Ophelia tells Hamlet of her mother's death, and later in court Hamlet confronts Ophelia. Ophelia pulls a knife and stabs Laertes, then grabs a sword and duels briefly with Hamlet before stabbing her as well. Grief-stricken, Horatio cries for a moment over Hamlet's body before going berserk and killing Ophelia. Everyone is dead except Horatio, curtain falls.

Odd, isn't it?

Personally, I think the Shakespeare references were harmful to the play. Most people who know anything about English drama know the plot of Hamlet, and in this I think case the plot that everyone knows interferes with the ability of the audience to enjoy the story we had (which I thought was pretty good). There were also a couple uses of canned dialogue--such as when Gertrude is about to hang herself--which I really didn't understand.

Personally, I think it would have made a better movie, and it should have been longer. There was great use of music during the play, for example, and all the transitions were knife-edged, which made it hard to figure out what was going on without looking at the playbill or being confused for a few minutes at the beginning of each new scene. If it were a movie, though, I would definitely pay to see it.