tv review: hamlet

On PBS last night they had a broadcast of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Hamlet, starring David Tennant as Hamlet and Sir Patrick Stewart as Claudius. Hamlet is easily my favourite Shakespeare play and I like the variety of versions out there. This one was a modern version, so they were wearing suits for the most part. There were surveillance cameras and Hamlet had a little 8mm film camera that he used to catch the conscience of the king.

One of my favourite bits was having Patrick Stewart also play Hamlet’s father’s ghost, because of how it worked in the scene where Hamlet’s confronting his mother just after he’s killed Polonius. He’s showing her pictures of this wonderful man that she threw over for this horrible beast, as if the picture should make the tragedy self-evident, even though in this production they look exactly the same (Hamlet’s father had a bushier beard).

The people reacting to Polonius when he talked were great, as was Polonius himself. I love watching people listen to someone blather on. Especially when I don’t have to appear polite, which I didn’t on my side of the tv screen.

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