A reviews round-up for Re-Member Me at Hampstead Theatre in London starring actor and artist Dickie Beau.
Dickie Beau has been hailed as “theatre’s master of lip-sync” by The Guardian, and proves it here in his extraordinary show Re-Member Me.
While building a human Hamlet mix-tape, taking recordings of great Hamlets from the past to channel into an epic one-man lip-sync show, Dickie Beau found one especially masterful rendition. This ghost from Hamlet’s past left an indelible mark on all who saw it, however, this Hamlet can never be “re-membered” – because no recording exists.
This show attempts to bring that Hamlet back to life through interview recordings with Ian McKellen, Peter O’Toole and Richard Eyre and more.
First presented as a scratch performance at the Almeida Theatre on the set of Robert Icke’s production of Hamlet in 2017, Re-Member Me transferred to the Public Theater, New York and has gone on to play the Melbourne International Arts Festival and Perth International Festival.
Directed and co-devised by Jan-willem van den Bosch, Re-Member Me is playing at Hampstead Theatre until 17 June 2023.
Check out reviews including The Times, Telegraph and The Stage, with more reviews to follow.
Re-Member Me reviews
"Dickie Beau’s enthralling dissection of Hamlet"
"Dickie Beau’s arresting take on Hamlet doesn’t so much deconstruct the text as explode it before reassembling the pieces to create a work that’s as haunting as it’s ebullient. Whatever your take, this is bracingly, disconcertingly original: a meditation on mortality that includes mannequins and a glitter ball, a biting tribute to Shakespeare that starts with Withnail and I and climaxes with Chariots of Fire."
"There’s fizzing gossip but also tenderness as Beau focuses increasingly on Ian Charleson, the actor who replaced Daniel Day-Lewis after the latter quit his role as Hamlet in 1989 at the National Theatre. Charleson (made famous by Chariots of Fire) would die of Aids just two months after the production ended, throwing the play’s simultaneous connotations of mortality and immortality into stark relief."
"A Hamlet fantasia of infinite jest – and stirring sorrow"
"Dickie Beau's subversive meditation on Shakespeare's masterpiece, at Hampstead Theatre, ranges from sharp satire to stabbing poignancy"
"Beau’s calling-card is his lip-syncing ability, and that’s deployed to striking effect – as he opens and closes his mouth to recordings of big theatrical fish in reminiscence mode, chiefly Ian McKellen and directors Sean Mathias and Richard Eyre, the latter recalling the formative experience of seeing Peter O’Toole in the part."
"If there’s humour at the expense of the interviewed old boys’ club – intakes of breath and forgetful hesitations tongue-in-cheekily preserved – it’s what’s not preserved that sharpens the montage into stabbing poignancy. Those invited memories cluster around the fleeting spectacle, and sensation, of Ian Charleson’s Hamlet, which followed in the wake of Daniel Day-Lewis’s distraught departure from Eyre’s 1989 NT production."
"Shrewd and eloquent"
"A striking meditation on life and death through the words of Hamlet"
"Re-member Me, Dickie Beau’s original and marvellously vivid Hamlet mixtape, deals with the fallibility of human consciousness and asks if we can ever reimagine an actor in totality, beyond his final curtain call."
"If Hamlet is the pinnacle of theatrical success, then Beau has failed. But no bother, because his production is art. Voices of actors become his own as he morphs vibrantly into each of their unique physical energies. A master ventriloquist, he squeezes all the oomph of lip-syncing and spits it out at a faultless pace. Laden with queerness, character and oh so much talent, he is a mesmeric performer."
"In its simplest form, Re-member Me gives Charleson his moment of glory and remembrance. But viewing the play as an obituary would be reductive. This is Shakespeare re-formed and reborn. It is a marvel that reminds us, all too acutely, of our own mortality. If Beau wants to be remembered, then this shrewd, eloquent haunting should earn him that right."