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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: March ::
The Best Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0173  Thursday, 13 March 2008

[1] 	From:	Paul Budra <
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	Date:	Tuesday, 11 Mar 2008 13:14:56 -0700
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0161 The Best Hamlet

[2] 	From:	Marilyn A. Bonomi <
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	Date:	Tuesday, 11 Mar 2008 18:46:17 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0150 The Best Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Paul Budra <
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Date:		Tuesday, 11 Mar 2008 13:14:56 -0700
Subject: 19.0161 The Best Hamlet
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0161 The Best Hamlet

The best Hamlet I ever saw was a theatre at Langara College in Vancouver 
BC. Langara College has what is arguably the best theatre program in 
Canada (Studio 58), and I try to attend its performances whenever I can.

Anyway, this student cast was headed by Kyle Rideout, who has gone on to 
be a regular in Vancouver's summer Shakespeare festival, Bard on the 
Beach. Rideout is a slight man, almost elfin man. In this modern day 
production he wore a tight, black suit and spiky hair, giving him a punk 
look - think Johnny Rotten without the safety pins. The entire 
production was intelligent and ingenious, but Rideout was a knock-out. 
His delivery of the "to be or not to be" speech was simply the best I 
have ever heard. He delivered it while walking through the audience, 
pausing over the cruces of the speech as though he were are once 
teaching us its lessons and trying to work out the implications of where 
his mind was taking him. He knew when to be funny, and his camaraderie 
with Horatio felt just right.

Anyway, I thought I was mad to be so impressed with a student 
performance, but another colleague of mine who has seen the production 
asked me about it. When I replied, "Best Hamlet I've seen," she said, 
"Thank goodness you said that. I thought I was crazy, because it's the 
best I've ever seen."

Paul Budra
Associate Professor
Simon Fraser University

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Marilyn A. Bonomi <
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Date:		Tuesday, 11 Mar 2008 18:46:17 -0400
Subject: 19.0150 The Best Hamlet
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0150 The Best Hamlet

Considering that I named Stacy Keach as one of my most powerful Hamlet 
experiences, I found the following quite listed on Mr. Keach's website 
most interesting:

"... of American Hamlets? I was too young to have seen Barrymore, but I 
suppose the three most notable American Hamlets since have been Stacy 
Keach, Kevin Kline and Sam Waterson. Kline was an athletic 
soldier-prince, a sort of Henry V with doubts, while Waterson suggested 
a scholar whose resolution was 'sicklied o'er with the pale cast of 
thought.' But for me, the best of that bunch was Keach, whose neurotic 
passion and fierce poetry were quite wonderful."

Clive Barnes, New York Post, Sunday Dec 26, 1999 "

Having seen Mr. Waterson live on stage in both a comic and a tragic mode 
(albeit not Shakespearean) I rather wish I had seen his performance to 
compare it.

Mari Bonomi

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