Thursday, November 11, 2010

II.i. Ophelia Affrighted - Slings & Arrows

In Slings & Arrows, Ophelia is played by Kate McNab, who in turn is played by the now ubiquitous Rachel McAdams. In the show, which continually blurs the line between the characters and the actors who play them, Kate has a relationship with Jack/Hamlet. She's his tether, finding him when he runs for it and bringing him back to the theater. This is a notion from the play as well. Ophelia is Hamlet's tether, one he deliberately cuts in the unseen moment before this scene. By letting her go (reluctantly but necessarily), he loses hope for the normal life she represents (but then, Hamlet has lost the sense than marriage is any sort of normalcy).

McAdams/McNab gives an excellent and properly "affrighted" performance. Other characters believe she's really good, and Slings doles out humor in the midst of drama, by having the Culture Minister's wife claim the same based on her cleavage. The show often undercuts its drama with comedy, and vice-versa, which is a perfectly Shakespearean thing to do.

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