Hamlet in Fifteen Minutes

Hamlet in 15 minutes adelaide fringe 20241/2

Adelaide Fringe. Holden Street Theatres, Barbara Hardy Garden. 18 Feb 2024


No one loved to play with plays and plays in plays more than Shakespeare - until Peter Goers came along.


He has taken the old Tom Stoppard concept of distilling Hamlet into a merry morsel and given it a thorough shaking in a madness mixer. The Goers Hamlet in Fifteen Minutes includes the play in a play and also a bonus variation of Hamlet in One Minute and then, hold down those eyebrows, an encore of Hamlet in Ten Seconds.

Short, sharp and exhausting to behold.


There are at least six colourful actors, and not always the same ones and often in multiple roles. Among them are Brian Wellington, Christopher Cordeaux, David O’Brien, Lyn Wilson, Kym Mackenzie, Ariel Dzino and Josh White.


Some of them play it straight. Ish. Cordeaux, so young and handsome and with such a lovely voice, fronts the cast as Hamlet. Wellington and Wilson are rather grandly bedecked as king and queen while Dzino, a fearless comic, leaps from role to role, bringing the house down as stricken Ophelia. She is a striking new discovery.

Goers is narrator. Sometimes. Rob Cusenza delights in alternate casting sessions. Very funny if you catch him.


Constant as flailing ghost and lurching gravedigger is O’Brien with some unforgettable shtick.

Audience members may be called upon. Everyone dies at least once. Except for Goers in his red silk kimono.

Chaos rains, reigns and is unreined.


If good acting there is, this lovely sunken garden setting is not its stage.

This is about arrant silliness. It is ham and stunts, high energy fun, and epic themes on a micro-molecular scale.

Oh, yes. The Bard’s pen is recognisable for, after all, the play’s the thing.

And, perchance, it might even pass for art. 

It does pass the time, between the many shows at Holden Street Theatres. This brave troupe is playing it three times a night for the duration of Fringe. 


Get thee thence and tell ‘em I sent you.


Samela Harris


When: 18 Feb to 17 Mar

Where: Holden Street Theatres, Barbara Hardy Garden

Bookings: adelaidefringe.com.au