The Fifteen Minute Hamlet

by Varshini Vijay

Flyer for The Fifteen-Minute Hamlet

Some people get frightened when they hear Shakespeare’s name – they get ready to tackle the mysterious Shakespearean language, (which seems to not be English), or they thank their lucky stars for the blessed lullaby and are prepared to sleep. However, this play will change your views on that. If the very name of Shakespeare gives you nightmares then this play is for you, my friend. The Fifteen-Minute Hamlet is a hilarious take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Written by Tom Stoppard, it provides a completely different view as compared to the original play which is serious and tense. The play is short and engages the audience in a way no other!

The Royal Cougar Theatre Company decided to do the Fifteen-Minute Hamlet this year. Under the guidance of Mrs. Zabrowski, they are almost ready to perform. Every class started with a session for the actors to connect with their characters. The actors worked with much dedication and sincerity. As the play is fifteen minutes long the actors had to master their scripts and most importantly, the timing. Some times they were required to alter their pace. They had to go slow and lay emphasis on their lines or run in and out of the scene as though they were going to get a tardy for the fifth time!  Newcomers had a bit of difficulty adjusting to the stage but their seniors helped them all through the way. Students worked hard, dividing themselves into different groups and each group was responsible for different aspects of the play. Work was handled faster that way. 

Malina (Hamlet) says, ” I think this play is ecstatic, colorful, hilarious, very funny, hysterical, lively, entertaining, amusing, and high-spirited.” Shyama (Laertes) says, “I find practicing for the play is interesting and exciting because you get to explore different aspects of your personality that you may not express regularly. It’s fun to learn how to transform yourself into a completely different persona, and you end up being able to convey your thoughts with a more unique perspective.”

The play takes the small details of the play and exaggerates them in such a way that it becomes more entertaining. It is a must-watch for everyone studying Shakespeare. Those who have not read Shakespeare’s works will thoroughly enjoy the play too, as it will prepare them for more complex plays. This play is certainly for an audience of all ages. Make sure you see the play!

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