George Dillon writes and stars in a one man-play for 1½ hours, which is quite a feat. It is more admirable that he performs his well-crafted story with skill.
The Man Who Was Hamlet argues that “the true” William Shakespeare was the 17th Earl of Oxford Edward de Vere.
Dillon performs de Vere’s biography through monologue, morphing with precision into the multitude of characters in his life.
But the weakest part of the play is Dillon’s refusal to explain the logistics behind the Shakespeare myth.
He implies de Vere somehow handed his theatrical works to a man he knew called William, with “an egg-shaped head.”
That he does not indicate how that happened causes unsatisfactory confusion rather than mystery as the play finishes.
In spite of the plot, Dillon is an expert and witty actor.
His use of monologue to tell the story is not egotistical but suits the earl’s bullish character. And Dillon held the audience’s attention throughout – bar one teenage texter in the front row.
Excellent lighting from director Denise Evans and Charlotte Glasson’s original music aided the performance.
15 Oct, Tunbridge Wells
12 Nov, Newbury
23 Jan, Aylesbury
24 Feb, Liverpool
25 Feb, Bishop’s Stortford
3 to 7 and 10 to 14 March, Bristol
16 March, Greenwich
25 and 26 March, Salford