Tuesday, August 5

Stratford Upon RAVING

Yesterday James and I schlepped all the way to Stratford Upon Avon to attend a preview of the RSC's new production of Hamlet. Whilst the play in question is, in fact, one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, I am fully prepared to admit that the main draw for this particular performance was the fact that the lead role was being played by tousled TV pin-up David Tennant.

Wasn't all that impressed by Stratford itself. It seems to have all the outward trappings of a town with a rich cultural and historical heritage, but sorely lacks any depth or passion for the literature that it so desperately sells, and sells, and sells... I witnessed tourists having their photos taken outside mock-Tudor pubs, in a street that was consumed by a fire a number of years after Shakespeare's death. HE. DID. NOT. GO. THERE.

Tennant was an outstanding Hamlet, so good that I almost felt ashamed for initially being drawn to the theatre by the lure of his pretty, pretty face. He delivered those tricky soliloquys with fresh gusto, and commanded the space that he occupied. Similarly, Patrick Stewart was a fantastic Claudius, but an even more terrifying Ghost! Wasn't too sure exactly when the play was supposed to be set, but this is just nitpicking really. This 'review' is utterly useless to anybody considering queuing for a return ticket, so better check the press after tomorrow for the official verdict.

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