New York Magazine

We Are the Dane

Director Sam Gold and his star, Oscar Isaac, stage a Hamlet that’s both theatrical and honest.
Oscar Isaac in the Public’s Hamlet.

HAMLET

BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. DIRECTED BY SAM GOLD. PUBLIC THEATER. THROUGH SEPTEMBER 3.

A LITTLE OVER a third of the way into the modestly dressed, disarmingly brilliant production of Hamlet now playing at the Public, Oscar Isaac as the iconic prince turns to us before one of his famous soliloquies and calmly tells us, “Now I am alone.” I caught my breath at these four words. Here, they were not a statement of fact—they were an invitation to the audience to imagine.

Isaac was not alone, not in this moment nor ever. Hamlet as written contains seven soliloquies for its title character, but the Hamlet who is now

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