To be or not to be, that is the question

It's one of the famous (probably the most popular) lines from the well-known William Shakespeare's Hamlet. We watched Repertory Philippine's version of Hamlet last night at OnStage, Greenbelt 1 in Makati. The theater was almost full, t'was invaded mostly by Poveda students. We reached GB1 30 minutes before the show started because we were kind of lost due to the 4-8PM rally along Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas that occurred yesterday; we were tired after a hectic day in school and famished so we grabbed some "power-snacks" before going inside the theater.

I'm not really good in doing play reviews but I can say that the show was awesome. Although there were some technical difficulties like microphone dysfunctions and the like, the actors' performances were astounding and moving. The story is about Hamlet's attempts to seek revenge on his Uncle Claudius for poisoning his father and marrying his widowed mother, Gertrude; the story also depicted his love life with Hamlet's love interest Ophelia. It is a tale of indecision, revenge and retribution, deception, ambition, loyalty and fate which is also apparently the issues concerning our country right now.

"All is not well;
I doubt some foul play."
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1.2

Nicollo Manahan who did the Hamlet role was remarkable; great acting especially in the part where Hamlet's in a "psycho" state; and kudos for his nice accent. Cris Villonco portrayed Ophelia and I was moved by her acting in the part wherein her father was accidentally killed by Hamlet and she mourned like a mad woman.

"There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
that shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them:
There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes..."
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 4.7

Their version of Hamlet's different. The costumes were not Shakespearean, instead the characters were wearing tight jeans, leather jackets, Mohawk haircuts, knee-length skirts and lots of other straps all over their bodies; it was cool though. It was like a new-generation Hamlet, very modern.


Overall? A must watch show. Catch it until February 17, 2008 at OnStage Greenbelt 1. For more information visit Repertory Philippine's website.

I am attaching a song entitled "Cry Ophelia" by Adam Cohen. It reminds me of Ophelia but the song is not only about her but about every women's suffering in life. Enjoy!


Something went wrong
You are not laughing
It’s not so easy now to get your smile
You gotta be strong
To walk these streets
And keep from falling
But when you’re not, just let yourself cry

You’ve been working hard
Just trying to pay the rent
Tryin’ to draw the line between who you are
and who you invent
But if you throw a stone
Something’s gonna shatter somewhere
We’re all so fragile
We’re all so scared

You say you wanna learn how to live your life
without tears
But we’ve been trying to do that for thousands of years
So go on and cry Ophelia
It’s the only thing to do sometimes
You know I’m crying too
Right there with you
It’s alright Ophelia
Everybody cries

Thank God for my bad memory
I’ve forgotten some of the stupid things
that I’ve done
I’ve come to a little wisdom
through a whole lot of failure
So I watch more carefully what rolls off my tongue

You pray for rain
But you don’t want it from a storm
You find a rose
And cut your finger on a thorn
So go on and cry Ophelia
It’s the only thing to do sometimes
You know I’m crying too
Right there with you
It’s alright Ophelia
Everybody cries Ophelia

Our last night's pictures can be accessed HERE!

Hamlet Banner picture was taken at

5 remark(s):

Saminella said...

Wow uso ulit si Shakespeare.

Dito din may "Makbet". Tagalog ata.

arjay said...

i'm not really a fan of plays but this post made me a bit curious. ;)

Anonymous said...

my cousin carla is raving about it as well. unfortunately, I didn't have time to catch it.

ralph said...

HAMLET?? narinig ko na to,, pero hindi ko alam kuwento.. hmm..

MoonLAE said...

Hey thanks for sharing this
song..I love it!!truly!
coz lately it's just me and
my TORI AMOS.I like her

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