Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Tennant Hamlet

I watched the Tennant Hamlet, that I saw at the theatre about 18 months ago, on BBC4 last night. You can watch it on i-Play here for the next seven days (it's about three hours long)*. I tuned in a little way through last night, and I caught it at just a bit where I didn't think it was working too well (Hamlet seeing the ghost) and I thought 'Oh no, I've said this is so good, and it hasn't been converted successfully to TV'. However, I think it quickly got a lot better, and rewatching it now online, I think there were just one or two less good scenes, and I was unlucky enough to tune in during one of them.

I think Patrick Stewart and Oliver Ford Davies (Polonius) were brilliant, live and here. I thought Ophelia and Horatio were actually better in this version than the night I saw them on stage. I thought Tennant was perhaps not quite as brilliant, but very good. I thought he was more involving and moving when he was right there physically.

Overall I think a very brief review would be that this is a pure transparent production. The story and the text are clear. I like the modern way of foreshadowing and then delivering Shakespeare's words, so that they are the most natural thing to come out of that person's mouth at that time. I don't think it spoils the poetry, but it makes you feel a link between the ultra-life of the play and one's own life.

*PS Not sure if you can watch this outside of the UK? I think BBC i-Play should be viewable by anyone in the world. As a license payer I lose nothing by that.
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