Heaven on a stick ~ theatre notes

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Heaven on a stick

I mean, Dr Who meets Shakespeare! The RSC's latest Hamlet, starring David Tennant, has been the most hotly anticipated show in Britain for months. And controversial - it's provoked sharp comments about celebrity culture from, among others, Jonathan Miller. But had I 500 pounds and an air ticket, I would be so there. The reviews have just come out, and they're laudatory.

Michael Billington at the Guardian says this is the funniest Hamlet he has ever seen, although he misses the "philosophical" aspect of Hamlet in Tennant's "active, athletic, immensely engaging" performance. Paul Taylor of the Independent says of Tennant: "This actor has most of what it takes: the braininess, the breadth of spirit, the reckless irony, the bamboozling banter, the sense of layered depth. He can produce moments of sudden stillness when he seems to be dazed by the vortex of meditation...So what's missing? ... At the moment, that strange double-feeling of exposure and spiritual connection is not as strong here as one could wish." But, for all their reservations, both critics are deeply impressed, and make me wish I had a Tardis.


Geoffrey said...

Me too!

Michael Magnusson said...

As I was gloomily watching Brendan Cowell massacre the part I kept thinking ‘Oh to be at Stratford’. Let's not forget Mr Tennant has an impressive track record with the Bard (there was an excellent BBC audio recording of "Much Ado" with his Benedict almost a prototype of 'so not in love with you' Dr Who).

Check the fun article from the Independent a few weeks back about Dr Who's who have wrestled with the Dane.


Alison Croggon said...

That link has been cut off by the comments - here it is.

Geeks will of course also note that Patrick Stewart (a distinguished Shakespearean and Star Trek's Jean-Luc Picard) is playing Claudius. I've never seen Stewart on stage, although he's suppsoedly marvellous; the closest I've got is a snatch of him playing Prospero in Extras. Which was pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

The geeks are well aware as the RSC have banned Dr Who fans and Trekkies from crowding the stage door wanting Dr Who/Star Trek [dreck!]goodies signed.

Alison Croggon said...

What meanies!

Alison Croggon said...

...mind you, given the mayhem you can see at the stage door here you can't really blame them. How do those actors get home?