Event Reports
30th June 2008 - Hamlet Blog
Hamlet Blog

After a pretty uneventful day (although there was a bizarre moment where we walked past Patrick Stewart on the phone...), we finally entered the theatre. We were already stupidly excited at how close we were to the stage and how we'd soon be seeing the one and only David Tennant.

Soon, the show started in the pitch black with three men walking around on stage with torches. We were both frantically looking around for David, but he didn't appear until the next scene. I think I nearly had a heart attack when I saw him! He walked over and stood in the corner of the stage, and whilst Patrick Stewart was delivering the dialogue at this point, I couldn't take my eyes off David.

David's performance as a whole was absolutely spellbinding. He didn't once stumble over his words, and his perfect portrayal of the madness of Hamlet was amazing; he easily switched between making the audience terrified, amused or sad in a second's notice. His brief crying scenes were utterly heartbreaking to watch, as was his vulnerability whenever he curled up in a ball when the events of the play got to be too much for his character. He also managed to make the audience laugh out loud on several occasions thanks to his interpretation of certain lines.

In one scene, David was bound to a chair, and his 'wheeee' as he was wheeled off the stage was priceless. You also caught glimpses of the Doctor when he was raving mad and yelling, in the way that he bobbed around the stage and in one scene in particular where he yells Patrick Stewart's lines straight back at him, imitating his accent perfectly.

It's watching David on stage where you truly see his potential as an actor. His expressiveness and his emotion keep you watching him even when he's not doing much on-stage. It's only when you see him running madly around on stage (barefeet), ruffling his hair and delivering Hamlet's long soliloquies clearly and with honesty and emotion where you truly realise just how amazing an actor he is.

Doctor Who really doesn't do such a versatile and talented actor justice. He portrays the emotional journey that Hamlet goes on beautifully, showing his happiness, feigned madness and his loneliness and in the end his death brilliantly. I think the sword fight also deserves a mention, as no doubt this took a lot of rehearsing and it was carried off without fault and kept you riveted on David and Edward.

I think it's only fair to give the rest of the cast a mention, as although we were admittedly only there for David, they were brilliant. Patrick Stewart really did command the stage, and Polonius was also a great character; his comic timing was fantastic. Ophelia's madness was wonderfully portrayed by Mariah Gale, and the only real person whom I feel I can fault was Edward Bennett, who played Laertes. The scene where he discovered his sister's death was painful to watch. There were also a couple of other Doctor Who stars playing minor roles in the play; Andrea Harris (Suzanne from The Stolen Earth) played Cornelia, who had few lines and Zoe Thorne, voice of the Gelth and the Toclafane, who played a page with no lines.

During the encore, we ran out of the stage in order to get to the stage door. We managed to get places at the front, for which we were very fortunate. After a long wait, David finally appeared. He went round signing autographs for people, and I was amazed at how friendly he was considering he'd just done an exhausting three-hour show.

One person tried to get him to sign some Doctor Who merchandise, however he had to reply 'I can't sorry, there's big signs everywhere, you'll get me into trouble', so if you are going to see Hamlet there really is no point in taking Doctor Who stuff: he won't sign it.

He finally got round to us and he smiled at me and wished me a happy birthday! I was over the moon. He signed one more person's poster after me then was ushered back inside. He was very generous with his time considering the circumstances, and I'm pleased that our particular crowd of fans were well-behaved and not rude at all to him. We realise we're ridiculously lucky to be amongst the few people he spoke to, and I personally will treasure my signed programme forever!