Rock Opera-Hamlet

Rock Opera Hamlet!

Original Work                  : William Shakespeare

Adaptation/Direction : Fuji Daisuke

with reference to Kawai Shouichirou’s New translation – Hamlet (Kadokawa Shoten Publishing)

Composer/Music Arrangement : Aoki Tomoko, Teshima Kyoko

Cast  :

Hamlet (Prince of Denmark)     ………………    Ryuu Masaki

Claudius (Present King, Hamlet’s Uncle)   ………………    Koshino Ryuu

Ophelia (Hamlet’s love, Daughter of Polonius)    ……………….   Ranno Hana

Gertrude (Queen of Denmark, Hamlet’s mother)  ……………….   Itsumine Aki

The Ghost  (Hamlet’s late father, King of Denmark) …………..  Ken Ruisu

Polonius ( Claudius’s chief counselor, Ophelia and Laertes’ father)  ……………   Ayazuki Seri

Rosencratz (Hamlet’s friend)  …………..  Toka Yurino

Guildenstern (Hamlet’s friend)  ……………..  Hozuki An

Laertes ( Son of Polonius, Ophelia’s brother) …………….   Tamaki Ryou

Horatio (Hamlet’s close friend, confidante) ……………   Uzuki Hayate

Celia (Horatio’s sister) …………..  Hanahi Mira


“Expect the unexpected” is the proper word to describe this rock-opera. Be it Takarazuka or Shakespeare, indeed this musical is very entertaining. I love Shakespeare’s works although my poor (victorian) english ability makes it difficult to understand the whole play. But Stage being stage itself, there were so many things that could express the play. This rock-musical was staged in Japanese, with more-modern translation from the original Hamlet. What I highly appreciated from Takarazuka-adaptation is the music (which I think is Takarazuka’s original composition) and the modern setting, without parting too much from Shakespeare’s beautifully phrased lines. Usually Takarazuka chose to make their own script with title “inspired by”, but this time it was almost all verbatim based on Kawai Shouichiro’s new translation of Hamlet (with a bit of cuts here and there).

I am not going to tell everything, because that will make you seem less interested on seeing the whole play. There are just some hints I will review.

First, you want to praise really high for Ryuu Masaki. She is absolutely the star. Clearly someone who is the main actor has to seal the spotlight, but she is better than that. Her rock-y voice is strong, a little bit of vibration and stable. 70% of the script were sung in this musical, and she sang most of it. Despite the fact that it is last day (I got recording from Senshuraku) her voice didn’t show sign of wearing- off. Other than voice, she could convey her Hamlet remarkably well. Despair, Anger, Confusion, Complexity, Joy, Love and feeling of betrayal. I felt that I was there beside Hamlet, not knowing what to do, feeling depressed that there was nothing I can do to make things better other than stay silent.

Second, I can’t describe detail for the rest of the cast BUT they were fantastic. My eyes set on Uzuki Hayate (Horatio). I wasn’t sure whether Horatio supposed to be that eye-catching, but Yeah this horatio is so lovable that I waited every next scene with excitement. I wanted to hear and see more of him. Horatio was Hamlet’s confidante. She portrayed it as a man whom you can put trust on and can be brake for Hamlet’s unstoppable impulsive mind. I am looking forward to see Uzuki Hayate performance in other play.

Third, I found that collaboration of serious (rather classic) dialogue, simple props, gothic nuance and rock music were divine. I gave 4 thumbs up to stage director, wardrobe, music director, producer and everyone behind the stage. They did absolutely gorgeous work.

To be or Not to be, that’s the choice.

Hamlet has chosen to be.


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