Monday, August 18, 2008


So, yes indeed, we had the best seats in the house for Hamlet and weren't we glad for that! We were aptly placed to observe Russell T. Davies down in the stalls and to avoid the carelessly thrown objects that flew from the stage into the audience. Such as Patrick Stewart's dart-like pen that shot out of his discarded jacket and thwacked against a wall. And, Mr Tennant's own fumbling with a footstool that slid into the face of a first row patron (lucky he caught it)

You can get a full idea of how the play played out at MG's site.

Let me just say that they made brilliant use of light and dark - a shiny black floor which the soldiers shone their Mulder-and-Scully torches on, which reflected back onto each other's faces. The rear wall mirrors that cracked to amazing effect. A brilliantly doddery Polonious, played by Star Wars favourite Oliver Ford Davies (Sio Bibble), a great to see Patrick Stewart (who almost laughed when, during the interrogation of Hamlet to ascertain the location of Polonious's body, Tennant opts to reply with the same deep, Stewartesque tones "He's in Heaven!").

Tennant is, as they say, a good Hamlet. Fully realised, brilliantly unhinged at times, funny and distraught - but, as the lady on the front counter said to us, it's not dark enough.

There was perhaps, too much humour. And while, as Laura pointed out, Shakespeare purposefully added comedy into his tragedy and tragedy into his comedy, Hamlet needs to be a far more brooding piece than it was.

Not that it ruined the enjoyment - certainly, Tennant's choices made for a more relatable Hamlet than, say, the knowing-Hamlet of Brannagh's (though we have just bought a copy of Brannagh's Hamlet because it's great).

Anhyoo, here's a piccy of David Tennant signing autographs - and yes, we were sad enough to join in, though we failed to get one.

1 comment:

Whirlochre said...

He looks like a pop star, here, and I'm guessing if printed shirts aren't already on their way back, big time, they soon will be. Plus, exactly that boyish hairdo — only for women. And certain breeds of small dog.

Missed Hamlet, but I do have a DVD somewhere of the one-off drama he starred in a while back opposite Clare Goose.* Not expecially dark (on a demonic scale, at least) but he's good at 'cruel manic'.

*Now there's an idea for a happnin' new assistant.