Barnstaple's Fringe Theatre Festival
June 25th-28th 2015

Something Rotten


Something Rotten presents Hamlet’s Uncle Claudius in a way most people wouldn’t have previously considered. Robert Cohen presents Claudius as a grieving brother who has fallen in love and seeks companionship and acceptance during his long awaited time on the throne. He accepts his nephew as if he were his own son, whilst working to support and rule his kingdom. The audience are guided as if they are the king’s counsel, each thought process, plan and intention is directly addressed to them.

The performance varied in pace and intensity as the story progressed, depicting the struggles and worries that he faced during his life, evoking sympathy and understanding from the engaged audience. Twisting this tragedy into the often heartbreaking, whilst simultaneously humorous perspective of one who we have always viewed as the villain, Claudius throws into question everything the audience believed to be true.

On several occasions during this hour long monologue Cohen moves past the boundaries of the stage and extends the performance space to between the audience’s seats, maintaining an aspect of the fourth wall as he never interacts with individual members of the audience, only addresses them as a whole.

From the moment you walk in to the moment you leave, you are actively involved in his story, experiencing the ups and downs alongside him as the truth is unveiled.
Tasmin Sargeant, The Daily Fringe