Iago vs. Hamlet: clever, filled with wit

Iago vs. Hamlet
Convention Centre
Presented by Stars & Hearts
Troupe Origin: London, ON
The Players: Jayson McDonald, Harry Edison
Fri., June 7th 7:15 - 8:15 p.m., Sun., June 9th     8 – 9 p.m., Mon., June 10th   6 – 7 p.m,
Wed., June 12th  7:30 - 8:30 p.m., Fri., June 14th  9:15 - 10:15 p.m., Sat., June 15th  5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Running Time:  60mins

Iago vs. Hamlet starts off with rapiers, dialogue and the metered verse that one expects from Shakespeare…that is until there is mention of puppies, kittens and rainbows. The story unfolds and you realize it’s not what you expected when lines like, “I’m your go-to man,” or it’s “just wacky” become part of the dialogue.

McDonald’s writing is clever and filled with wit; many of the lines are a play on Shakespeare’s words. I believe the final scene consists of lines taken from death scenes found within several Shakespeare’s plays. The audience will enjoy the many laughs found in the lines throughout the script, my favorite being while Edison is brainstorming ideas to kill a man, coming up with a surprise party, inconspicuous tree or dressing up in sheep’s clothing.

While the writing was tight and characters were well established, the blocking didn’t feel as strong. Although the actors shared the same stage, at times it seemed as if they were acting beside each other instead of reacting to each other. The blocking felt more like a walk-through, circling each other without confidence in the movement choice on stage. The pace initially established by a fun back and forth banter, slowed right down during a scene where both actors sit and start discussing death. By the time we got to a drawn out fight scene, I was tired of the “slow painful end”. The pace and laughs picked up once the blood cleverly came out, helping the actors limp through (literally) until their end.

This play is a fun hour with two of London’s favorite actors as both bring something new to Shakespeare’s words presented on stage.

  /   4

Trish West is preparing for a busy weekend reviewing as Fringe quickly approaches June 5-16th. She is excited to have the opportunity to join Elgin Theatre Guild doing something new while bringing their previous show Old Love by Norm Foster to London Sept 19 - 21st at The Arts Project and will be jumping in right after to join AlvergoRoot's production of Press Cuttings by Bernard Shaw Oct 30-Nov 2nd. This summer Trish will be busy creating art pieces to be used as the adjudicator's awards in this year’s London One Act Festival November 4-10, 2013. Plans for her own play Skin Deep are well underway and she is continually amazed at the support and interest that is gathering while preparing it to take the stage at TAP Mar 31- April 5th, 2014.

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