by Lacy Sarco
I caught the last preview night of Sound Theatre Company’s Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth and I was blown away! These two one-act plays by Tom Stoppard require the audience to look at theatre with an open mind. In Dogg’s Hamlet you are transported to a British boys school that is producing Hamlet. However, when they are not rehearsing or performing this Shakespearean piece they speak only in “Dogg” which is a made-up language consisting of seemingly random words nonsensically put together. At first I could not decide if I liked this script that was written mainly in some random language… I mean I could not even understand it. But as time passed I started to understand what they meant and even had the urge to speak “Dogg”. I contribute this urge to two very important aspects of the show. The first was the acting. Every single actor was on point and hilarious in their delivery of both “Dogg” and Hamlet. Whereas they utilized the inflection of their voices to convey the made-up language they went over the top with gestures when performing Shakespeare, which was amusing. Fox Rain Matthews gave an outstanding performance, I have to admit that I am slightly biased because I have worked with Fox in the past and am currently working with him again in our upcoming show, but he is by far one of the funniest physical comedians I have ever seen. Noah Duffy was also amazing as the effeminate Charlie, who wore a dress over his uniform, loved to sing and dance, and of course portrayed the tragic Ophelia. The second aspect that made me connect with this performance was the cast seamlessly included the audience as part of the show. By sitting amongst us and giving props to audience members we were transported into their world.
These two aspects continued throughout the second one-act, Cahoot’s Macbeth. During intermission the cast completely transforms the minimal set from Dogg’s into a fully functioning living room for Cahoot’s. This play is set in cold-war Czechoslovakia and shows a renegade performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. At the exact moment I began to wonder if I was just watching Macbeth, it was rudely interrupted by a hard-nosed Inspector making alarming accusations. Again, the acting was phenomenal and the actors, especially the Inspector, made the audience feel as if we were really sitting in the living room watching a rogue performance. Robert Hinds gave a stellar performance as the Inspector, he was not only comical but also intimidating. Luke S. Walker as Easy was hysterical as the unknowing delivery man. Just as I was hoping there was a way to knit both shows together the absurd language of “Dogg” makes an appearance in Cahoot’s and takes on a new and poetic meaning. Also, they explain that you don’t speak “Dogg”, you catch it. It’s no wonder that I had the urge to speak it! “Cube, git.”
Bravo to the cast and crew of Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth for choosing such a fun and important show! I left not only with a smile on my face but for an appreciation that I am able to make the art I choose without censorship.