Breakneck Hamlet



  • “[Mooney] gives prominence to the recurring themes so much so that it’s as if they are lit up in neon lights… a whirlwind of wonderful. Hold on to your seats and watch a master at his work.” -Lee Hartman,
  • “Brilliant… [Mooney] knows his Shakespeare forwards, backwards and out-of-context… He seamlessly throws in asides, explanations and famous lines as he whirls to the play’s conclusion.” -Jodie Jacobs,
  • “Astonishing… a concise cliff-hanger… Gestures are precise, elaborate and underlined by stark changes in vocal tone… an assured and lively adaptation.” -Jay Harvey, Upstage

Audience Response

  • “Yes, it is all the best of this best of all plays.” -Debra Ann Christensen
    “Never have I been taken through complexity so fast and yet so clearly. There were points about Hamlet I understood for the first time.” -Harriet McCleary
  • “AN EXPLOSION OF CLARITY! Tim Mooney’s one-man interpretation made Shakespeare come alive before my eyes. I finally understand Hamlet!” -Bob Weidman
  • “Luminous linguistic beauty… theatrically accessible, remarkably clear, and vibrantly alive.” -Robert Hubbard

Adapted and Performed by Timothy Mooney

Breakneck Hamlet is “recklessly sliced” from Shakespeare’s original, cutting what is usually a four-hour play down to a single hour with a single actor. Mooney’s “breakneck performance” reveals Hamlet as a thrilling chameleon, with an immense intellectual capacity and a hilarious, wicked sense of humor. Rather than the usual melancholy Dane, Mooney’s Hamlet fights like hell throughout, with barely a second-long pause through the entire performance.


About the Adaptation


“Shakespeare never penned the stage direction ‘pause’ into his plays! When you cut all of the indulgent brooding out of it, what rises to the top are all the exciting political machinations which otherwise get lost. We are suddenly more aware of a delicate and dangerous political battle, between two equally powerful, and equally aware players fighting over who gets to be king,” says Mooney. “The intent is to add by subtraction: By removing a dozen actors and three hours of melancholy, we can surface the power that the original Elizabethan audience must have felt. It’s like getting the answer key that informs all future readings and gives the modern audience access to what is generally considered to be the greatest play of all time.


“And when this play works as a through line of action, we are suddenly aware of the incredible themes delicately woven throughout: again and again, Hamlet defines himself as a man vs. the beasts, as a man vs. an actor, as a man vs. the gods. He faces what it is to kill or to be killed, to choose to be alive, or to accept being dead. The great questions of life are no longer abstract, but faced down amid the furious tilt of great powers in deadly competition


Video and Photos


Timothy Mooney in “Breakneck Hamlet!”
Photos by Michael S. Drury
Compositor: Marcus Fernando


Timothy Mooney in “Breakneck Hamlet!”
Photo by Dale Jessen



Timothy Mooney in “Breakneck Hamlet!”
Photo by Michael S. Drury



Breakneck Hamlet Companion




There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Breakneck Hamlet Companion”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *