Friday 31 July 2009

Sweet Prince

I mentioned briefly that I had been lucky enough to see the Donmar West End production of Hamlet at the Wyndham's Theatre recently.

This was my first time of re- visiting Hamlet for some years. I have actually always felt a real connection with the play, not for necessarily pretentious reasons- I don't think I should like it and in fact I can see very well why people don't- but there is something in the melancholy and the beauty of the language that I have always loved. I suppose I also first met Hamlet at a happy time and it's a text that, for all it's sadness, can feel a bit like a cosy blanket for me. There is also something in the fact that things could be worse and looking in on Hamlet's world you are reminded of this.

I wasn't sure if I would like this production but it has resonated with me ever since I visited and so I felt I should write about it. The sets particularly were those of the Elsinore in my mind- and I loved the drama of the high walls, red curtains and falling snow, this is theatre after all and I approve of using everything available to add to the atmosphere.

Jude Law makes a wonderful Hamlet to me. He has always been able to be petulant but charming and Hamlet is a character the audience should be willing to succeed despite his more frustrating traits and actions. This production though is a real ensemble piece and for the most part the cast shine throughout.

I would honestly recommend that you go and get lost in this for an afternoon or an evening if you can.

picture courtesy of


Tania said...

I must admit, I haven't been tempted simply because Jude Law annoys me - I know, shallow... ;-) But it does sound good.
I've seen a few Hamlets - Albert Finney, Derek Jacobi, Simon Russell Beale, David Tennant, Edward Bennett - but so far, I have't seen 'my' Hamlet.

Rose said...

I don't think you're the only one he annoys! Hamlet can be quite annoying so it works in his favour.

I booked for the whole series but actually I'd seen him before in Dr Faustas and he was great so I suspected it would work. They lady playing Gertrude, whose name escapes me at the moment, is very good.

You've seen the greats though- am especially envious about Albert Finney and Simon Russell Beale- I've seen SRB in other Shakespeare and he's as wonderful as everyone says.

Tania said...

Yes, Beale was great. So was Finney, as I recall - though it's a long time ago, now... ;-) I still have the theatre programme, though.