A reviews round-up of King Hamlin, which has opened at the Park Theatre in North London.
Written and produced by Gloria Williams and directed, produced and designed by Lara Genovese, King Hamlin is about youth gang violence from the perspective of the boys at risk of being drawn in to the gangs.
The play is running at the Park Theatre until 12 November 2022.
More reviews to follow.
King Hamlin reviews
"Trapped teens face up to lives at knife-point"
"Excellent performances enhance this story of three young boys hurtling towards gang culture"
"All three central actors give excellent performances: Cain shines in his title role, capturing the inner conflict of an intelligent, code-switching teenager who is desperate to escape the gang culture that has taken the life of his father but still finds himself hurtling towards it."
"There are switches to dream or fantasy, some more effective than others, and occasionally the dialogue speaks in blunt messages... Williams’s script is best in its granularity during the boys’ more casual moments"
"Uneven but powerfully performed drama exploring poverty and gang violence"
"There’s a sense of grim inevitability saturating King Hamlin, a bleak new drama about young men from a deprived neighbourhood, who are drawn into gang culture with predictably horrible results."
"There’s a deep empathy evident in the dialogue, a rawness that is frequently moving, if heavy-handed. Williams effectively captures the fractious relationships between these young men, their conversations swinging abruptly between silliness and sudden aggression. But the characters tend to blurt out their deepest feelings with a frankness that feels forced."
"The four-strong cast is committed and focused, with Kiza Deen standing out as Hamlin’s mother,..."