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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: February ::
The Best Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0121  Sunday, 24 February 2008

[1] 	From:	Cheryl Newton <
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	Date:	Wednesday, 20 Feb 2008 16:29:28 -0500
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0114 The Best Hamlet

[2] 	From:	John Briggs <
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	Date:	Wednesday, 20 Feb 2008 22:03:39 -0000
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0114 The Best Hamlet

[3] 	From:	Herman Gollob <
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	Date:	Wednesday, 20 Feb 2008 23:09:58 +0000
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0114 The Best Hamlet

[4] 	From:	Larry Weiss <
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	Date:	Wednesday, 20 Feb 2008 23:35:16 -0500
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0114 The Best Hamlet

[5] 	From:	David Lindley <
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	Date:	Thursday, 21 Feb 2008 09:16:32 -0000
	Subj:	RE: SHK 19.0114 The Best Hamlet

[6] 	From:	Tom Reedy <
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	Date:	Thursday, 21 Feb 2008 10:32:55 -0600 (CST)
	Subj:	Re: The Best Hamlet

[7] 	From:	Robert Projansky <
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	Date:	Saturday, 23 Feb 2008 01:54:35 -0800
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0114 The Best Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Cheryl Newton <
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Date:		Wednesday, 20 Feb 2008 16:29:28 -0500
Subject: 19.0114 The Best Hamlet
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0114 The Best Hamlet

Campbell Scott, hands down. He also co-directs; the cast includes Jamey 
Sheridan, John Benjamin Hickey, and Lisa Gaye Hamilton. Approx running 
time 3 hrs.

Close second "Hamlet by Brook," starring Adrian Lester. It's a tight 
cut, 132 minutes.

Both are unusual in having multiracial casts. In Scott's production, 
Polonius & family are black. In Brook's production, Hamlet, father, 
Claudius are black. Ophelia & family are east Indian. Gertrude is Anglo, 
& Horatio is the whitest white boy you'll ever see. I think it was set 
up as a deliberate visual contrast with Hamlet. They do play the parts 
with physical affection that is withheld from R&G.

(Want a review of the manga Hamlet?!)

Cheryl Newton

Except for the actor's name, I would've insisted from appearance that 
Laertes was Hispanic/Native Am

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		John Briggs <
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Date:		Wednesday, 20 Feb 2008 22:03:39 -0000
Subject: 19.0114 The Best Hamlet
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0114 The Best Hamlet

Peter Bridgman wrote:

 >Of Benedict Nightingale's top 10 Hamlets, Mark Rylance and Alex
 >Jennings were both 40 when they played the part, Simon Russell Beale
 >was 39, Stephen Dillane was 38, Michael Pennington was 37, Samuel
 >West was 35, Jonathan Pryce was 34, Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes
 >were both 33, and Kenneth Branagh was 32.
 >
 >I expect the Wittenberg course was post-grad.

And Richard Burbage was 32, of course.

John Briggs

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Herman Gollob <
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Date:		Wednesday, 20 Feb 2008 23:09:58 +0000
Subject: 19.0114 The Best Hamlet
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0114 The Best Hamlet

Jacobi's Hamlet on BBC-DVD is splendid, second only to Rylance's. I was 
lucky enough to see his performance at the Globe in 2000; the production 
itself was up to that time the most thrilling rendition of any 
Shakespearean drama I'd seen (I wrote about it extensively in ME AND 
SHAKESPEARE; Adventures with the Bard). But Patrick Stewart's MACBETH 
matched it in theatrical power and inventiveness, including the most 
ingenious staging of the Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow soliloquy 
one can imagine.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Larry Weiss <
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Date:		Wednesday, 20 Feb 2008 23:35:16 -0500
Subject: 19.0114 The Best Hamlet
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0114 The Best Hamlet

What about Richard Burbage, who was 32 in 1600 and is said to have 
weighed 16 stn. Of the modern actors, Simon Russell Beale comes closest.

By the way, the latter actor's last name is "Russell Beale," not "Beale."

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		David Lindley <
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Date:		Thursday, 21 Feb 2008 09:16:32 -0000
Subject: 19.0114 The Best Hamlet
Comment:	RE: SHK 19.0114 The Best Hamlet

Surprising, perhaps, that David Warner's Hamlet hasn't been mentioned? 
It certainly hit the spot with this, then teenaged, member of the 
audience - but perhaps that's also the problem with it?

David Lindley

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Tom Reedy <
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Date:		Thursday, 21 Feb 2008 10:32:55 -0600 (CST)
Subject:	Re: The Best Hamlet

Am I the only one who saw Campbell Scott's 2001 Hallmark Hall of Fame TV 
production of Hamlet? I think his interpretation much superior to any of 
the others named that I've seen.

Tom Reedy

[7]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Robert Projansky <
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Date:		Saturday, 23 Feb 2008 01:54:35 -0800
Subject: 19.0114 The Best Hamlet
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0114 The Best Hamlet

The only British actors I have seen play Hamlet have all been on film or 
video, so I have no idea whose is best, but I do know whose is the 
worst. I cannot imagine anyone recording or sitting through, beginning 
to end, a worse performance than Nicol Williamson's. After a very few 
minutes you want to see his head off, no shriving time allowed. Ugh.

Best to all,
Bob Projansky

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