Are you on the lookout for some witty comedy, a good bit of escapism?! The Guild Theatre’s current production should fit the bill.

This is a a very witty and clever play by American writer Paul Rudnick.  The main character is sensitive young soapy star, Andrew Rally, who is going through a lot of stuff and the play’s central question is whether he is going to be able to keep it together.

The play starts with Rally having moved from the suburbs to an apartment in the Big Apple. He has made the move because the television network pulled the plug on the soapy series in which he starred as a charismatic Doctor and has had to find new work.

He auditions and wins the role of Hamlet in a production taking place in Central Park. His agent tells him that, many aeons ago, the great Shakespearean actor John Barrymore lived in the very same apartment. Can you tell where this is going?!

Yes indeed, the great Mr Barrymore starts making regular cameo appearances in Rally’s apartment and giving him advice on playing Shakespeare – Rally is very anxious about whether he will be able to cope with the gigantic artistic leap involved in going from playing a bland soapy role to playing Shakespeare’s greatest dramatic role – as well as giving some more personal advice such as how to win over his girlfriend with whom he has yet to bed.

Experienced director Rachel Cliffe comes up with a very charming, warm and funny revival of this play which goes back to 1991.

The cast perform in a lovely, finely detailed period set designed by James Searle.

George Gleeson gives a very comfortable, assured performance in the lead. As does Greg Kenyon who is well cast a the p loquacious, seductive Barrymore.

Pauline Randall does well in the quirky role of Lillian Troy who boasts to Rally that she had an affair in the apartment  with Barrymore many years.

Gary  Peter Lefkowitz comes across as suitably pushy as David Pointon, the cocky, pompous television producer who comes up with an offer to lure Rally back into television work.

Jodie Burns gives a  vivacious performance as  Rally’s bubbly but difficult girlfriend, Deidre.

Jazz Nijjar impresses in the role of real estate agent  Felicia Dantine who finds the apartment for Rally. Going above and beyond her duty as a real estate agent, Felicia makes everyone participate in a seance to make contact with the legendary actor.

This is a silly, improbable comedy, well played. I HATE HAMLET is playing the Guild Theatre, Walz Street, Rockdale until June 10.

Phone Bookings : 95216358.