Fringe review: Dead For A Ducat

There's method in the madness of this hilarious two-hander noir adaptation of Hamlet

DEAD FOR A DUCAT by Matthew Klein (Reign or Shine Productions). At St. Vladimir Institute. July 9 at 8:30 pm, July 10 at 2:45 pm, July 11 at 9:15 pm, July 12 at 5:15 pm, July 14 at 11 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN

Something might be rotten in the state of Denmark but it sure isn’t in Dead for A Ducat, Matthew Klein‘s film noir adaptation of Hamlet from New York based company Reign or Shine Productions.

When his partner is killed in the line of duty, private detective Dash Hamlet sets out to avenge him. But what seems like an easy target soon becomes a web of disaster as he finds himself entangled with San Diego crime boss Claude Moran, who is determined to keep her seedy empire from collapsing at all costs.

Kelly M. Johnston’s direction is sharp and funny actors Peter Coleman and Charlotte Foster play all 10 of the characters interchangeably (sometimes switching roles in the middle of a scene) with the rollicking ease of skilled performers. Playwright Klein maintains the domino effect of the Bard’s plot while embracing the quippy drama of a 50s film noir. While the scene transitions are a bit clunky, and the pacing could be tighter, it’s clear this is a talented team.

It’s freezing in St. Vladimir Institute, but Dead For A Ducat definitely brings the heat. Grab yourself a sweater and head on down.

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