Rating: ★★★

Company: Timothy Mooney Repertory Theatre, Chicago, Ill. 

Genre: Play — Dramedy

Venue: 9 — Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, University of Winnipeg

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Chicago's Timothy Mooney wants to take Hamlet's legacy away from its historic titles (Shakespeare's longest play, greatest play, most produced play, etc.) and give it back to the story. And he almost succeeds.

'When Mooney says 'breakneck,' he means it.' - Kelly Stifora

This is not a truncated Hamlet. The plot's all there, though many scenes are narrated rather than performed (27 speaking parts get reduced to a dozen) and only the most famous soliloquies and exchanges are left unedited. When Mooney says "breakneck," he means it. We get the whole shebang in 60 minutes flat, performed with charisma, skill and remarkable speed.

That speed, however, ultimately gets in the way of Mooney achieving his goal, despite his obvious chops. It leaves little room for subtlety or nuance, and left me feeling less like I was learning a new way to appreciate this pillar of the English canon than like I was being lectured on why I should want to.

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