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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: April ::
Performing Garage Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0265  Monday, 2 April 2007

From: 		Paul E. Doniger <
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Date: 		Friday, 30 Mar 2007 19:49:53 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 18.0223 Performing Garage Hamlet
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0223 Performing Garage Hamlet

My memory of the Burton Hamlet (which was in '64, by the way) was quite 
different. The performance I saw (in July -- sometime after the taping) 
was exciting and rich, and far better than the DVD is capable of 
revealing. Curiously, Burton is reported to have been quite inconsistent 
from performance to performance, apparently in his attempt to overcome 
what he felt was a staleness in his performance. When I saw/heard it, he 
was far from stale, and certainly not "Ham on Rye."

Hume Cronyn was also superb as was Eileen Herlie's Gertrude (same 
casting as the Olivier film of 1948), and Alfred Drake tried nobly, but 
was out of his depth. Also in the cast, by the way, were future musical 
star John Cullum (Laertes) and character actors George Rose, George 
Voskovek, and Barnard Hughes. I was a kid of 17 when I saw it, no doubt 
young and impressionable, but the performance was an epiphany for me 
that I have not forgotten, an experience which I am still grateful to 
have had.

Paul E. Doniger

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