THE­ATRE

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS -

Ham­net Abbey The­atre, Pea­cock Stage, Dublin Oct 4-7 8pm ¤18-¤25 dublinthe­atre­fes­ti­val.com “Who’s there?” asks the 11-year-old boy alone on stage in Dead Cen­tre’s marvel­lous new work, Ham­net. Those are fa­mil­iar open­ing words, but you could eas­ily bounce the ques­tion back to him. Wil­liam Shake­speare’s son Ham­net, who died in child­hood, has long been eclipsed by his near-name­sake, Ham­let, com­pleted three years later. Was Shake­speare haunted dur­ing its writ­ing? As per­formed by the re­mark­able Ol­lie West (above), Ham­net is a time­less, place­less child, some­where be­tween the now and then, be­tween be­ing and not be­ing. He looks like a reg­u­lar kid, with ev­ery­thing at his fin­ger­tips, from high cul­ture to po­lit­i­cal ob­scen­ity, where the only voice of au­thor­ity is Google. But he’s re­ally search­ing for his fa­ther and his ap­proval. In a fan­tas­ti­cally spry, deeply con­sid­ered hour that merges live pres­ence and ghostly tech­nol­ogy, Dead Cen­tre fi­nally re­ward him with it. PC

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