WATCHING one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies may not be everyone’s idea of a fun night out – especially if you studied it long ago at school.

However, it’s definitely time for a re-think, thanks to Bolton Octagon’s current run of Hamlet.

For a start, who knew there were so many funny moments involved? There wasn’t much of that in Laurence Olivier’s dark film. Here, in this new, modern-day setting, there’s a rather cool, moody Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returning home from studying abroad to find life completely changed.

His father is dead, his mother married to his uncle - small wonder his sanity is in question. In the Octagon’s clever production, the story unfolds at a cracking pace with David Ricardo-Pearce excellent as the tortured Hamlet and stand-out performances from Eric Potts, Brian Protheroe and Margot Leicester.

Absorbing, entertaining and fascinating – this is a performance worth seeing. And forget schooldays.