A Tale of My Guitar by Hamlet, 2023, Fringe Online, Review.

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Theatric Company Blue Bear / Woong Park
Woong Park
Running time

An actor playing Hamlet has been given the task of selecting a piece of music to play at the end of the final act. It’s all a bit last minute and it’s not an easy task. Woong Park is the affable focus of this monologue play and he has a natural and engaging character which is both dispassionate and genuine at the same time and this helps immensely in building rapport and trust with the audience. The stage has some boxes, chairs and steps arranged in the central area but apart from that it is quite minimalist.

The play is in Korean but good English subtitles negate this barrier for anyone who cannot speak that language but can read English. The show has a measured pace which for some might feel slow, for me it appeared considered and appropriate to the subject. Throughout the 35 minutes Wooing Park intermittently plays the guitar to accompany some of the songs he is considering using. But it’s not working out and none of them seem quite right.

During the play there is a strange to and fro between the actor playing Hamlet and the character of Hamlet, there is a mixing, morphing interchange and at certain points the melding and exchange of characters creates a pleasing and enticing confusion. There is a deliberate distortion which reflects well the actual challenges facing Hamlet and the dilemma the actor has in choosing a piece of music to symbolise and summarise the play’s themes.

As a piece of work it raises interesting questions for the audience who are directly challenged by Woong Park who almost from the outset breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience directly, which only adds to the conundrum and complexity of the situation.

At the end I wished that the play was longer and that the issues which were being explored could have been analysed still further. It’s a clever show, filled with pathos, well constructed and delivered, but I also felt it could be so much more.

Delivered Online
Available anytime.
Suitability: 16+y
Tickets: £ Free