The Daily Gamecock

Player King makes humorous tribute to literature, theatre

"The Player King" is a fresh new take on the classic of classics — "Hamlet." 

The show’s namesake comes from the play that is put on within "Hamlet," where the main character’s suspicions of how his father died are confirmed. However, the similarities end there. 

"The Player King" idolizes the play, as it is most certainly a classic. This gives certain characters the driving force to do whatever it takes to snag the iconic role. 

Lord Weldon and Olive devise a plan to gain the roles of Hamlet and Ophelia. Weldon schemes and double-crosses other characters so that he ultimately gets the part of Hamlet. 

Though there is more to this play than just the basic story — "The Player King" has a number of colorful characters that are all multidimensional and also have selfish pursuits of their own. The language isn't as dry as "Hamlet" either, as the play switches between styles of verse. 

Literary fans will delight in an Easter egg of "The Importance of Being Earnest" where verse style switches again.

Overall, "The Player King" is sprinkled with accessible humor. Whether it's through gimmicks like certain characters' accents, references to "Hamlet" itself or character development, "The Player King" definitely keeps you involved and interested. 

Not only is "The Player King" an exciting work in itself, it was also written and directed by fourth-year English student Ryan Stevens. While he has been in the spotlight, he says being behind the scenes is more his forte. 

Stevens would also like viewers to know that “this whole project was all just a big love letter to theater and art in general, and that it comes from a place of admiration for the arts.”

"The Player King" will be playing at the Lab Theater in Booker T. Washington from Thursday until Sunday at 8 p.m.