September 17, 2015

A former actor with a bleeding passion to play Shakespeare’s Danish prince — and to find his mother, who gave him up for adoption — leads us on his peculiar personal odyssey in “Hamlet in Bed,” a two-character play written by and starring Michael Laurence at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Mr. Laurence, dressed in scraggly black, his blond hair cut shaggy and floppy, plays the obsessed actor, named — gosh! — Michael. Annette O’Toole plays the woman who may or may not be his mother. Directed by Lisa Peterson on a darkened, simple set dominated by, yes, a bed, the play alternates between monologues for both characters (spoken into microphones) and scenes in which they interact. Michael has been drifting through life, unable to commit to his latest girlfriend and flitting through a series of dead-end jobs. He’s long been determined to climb the mighty role of Hamlet, although he’s now probably well past the years when it would really suit. (Still, he can easily tick off all the actors who’ve played the role at his age, 39, or older.)