Maxine Peake’s performance as Hamlet has been described by critics as “stunningly good”, “excellent” and “not fully rounded” after her opening night.
Peake is playing Shakespeare’s Danish prince at Manchester’s Royal Exchange.
In a five-star review, The Times‘ critic Dominic Maxwell said it was a “fabulous, feminised production”.
The star of BBC One’s Silk and The Village has said she took the role of the vengeful prince because of a scarcity of great parts for women and because she found Shakespeare’s female roles “quite problematic”.
She is the first high-profile woman to tackle the role in the UK for 35 years.
“It is not the performance you expect,” wrote Dominic Maxwell in The Times. “It is, however, a stunningly good one.”
He went on: “Without straining for shock value or raising voices unduly, Peake and co make this 400-year-old revenge tragedy come alive in a way you’ve never seen before.”
In The Guardian, Michael Billington described Peake’s Hamlet as “caustic, watchful, spry and filled with a moral disgust at the corruption she sees around her”.
It was, he decided, “an excellent Hamlet” and “a fine performance that confirms Peake’s capacity for emotional directness and a fierce, uncensored honesty”.
Billington’s main reservation concerned the omission of “almost all of the play’s political context”.
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Source:: BBC Entertainment