Thursday, January 08, 2009

Hamlet at the Novello Theatre



My first post of 2009 was going to be something more substantial than the below, and is still forthcoming. But, striking while the iron is hot and all that...

To Hamlet at the Novello Theatre in London, in which noted popular actor David Tennant miraculously recovers from back surgery and makes a triumphant reappearance as the tortured prince of Denmark. Now, I don't claim a great knowledge of the theatre. I've seen comfortably under 50 plays in my lifetime. But this was the second Hamlet after seeing Kenneth "Ken" Brannagh play the Dane in about 1990, and Tennant's was much the superior effort. Of course, I should qualify that by saying I'm vastly less stupid and oiksome than I was almost 20 years ago (!) and, for all I know, I may have been witness to what it generally considered to be the finest Hamlet of modern times. Oh well (I have to physically restrain myself from typing 'no matter'). This Hamlet, with Patrick Stewart as Claudius (and a particularly Stentorian Ghost), was thrilling, with Tennant prowling and sporting the stage like a thing demented (whither his slipped disc?). Never mind that Ophelia was somewhat duff. Polonius was pomposity personified, the scenes with Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and the gravedigger were hilarious and the whole thing was finally very moving, despite Gertrude dying to laughter as she went from full health to stillness in a beat.

2 comments:

MisterBarrington said...

1) Vastly? Not so sure.

2) Well done on sitting through it. I fondly, scratch that, baffeldly (ugh) remember the time you left the Old Vic just *after* Kevin Spacey's spellbinding (if long overdue) appearance on stage during The Iceman Cometh-in-the-bushes-on-Hampstead-Heath***.

*** Too cheap? Feck it.

3) Poor Ophelia. (Hang on, poor Ophelia is the point. I is cornfused.)

4) Jacobson's Organ.

5) Nice beanie/parka combo.

6) Before Matt Smith Chiwetel Ejiofor said no, gorramnit! I also think a black Bond is overdue. Craig Daniels or whatevahitis? Blonde Bond is wrongwrongwrong.

7) Zeal Monachorum, north-west of Exeter.

8) I is leetle beet drunk. Sat at desk sendnig wrok emilas. Driinkg bere. Whurgh. Fight you... *BOIK*

lee said...

1. Obviously I meant 'hopefully a bit'

2. I don't doubt it was spellbinding but, hey, Spacey plays in London are ten-a-penny these days. I recall I couldn't shake the knowledge that their was a crucial, um, group game in the world cup. Possibly Bulgaria vs Spain. Couldn't miss that.

3. Also laughter during her mad scenes. Never a good sign. Though one feels that if Shakespeare really wanted to convey her broken mind, he could have written a few more distressingly insane rants and a few less songs with a 'hey nonny nonny no" motif.

4. Brilliant. My ears often twitch if they're attuned to silence and suddenly hear a quiet noise. Either they're vestigial muscles at work, or I'm distressingly unevolved.

5. Not pictured: suave dinner jacket; cool jean/t-shirt combo; neat fencing garb

6. um what? I feel this is going to become tricky...

7. Yep, thought so.

9. Fight you *sleeps*