In this episode, we discuss Greg Doran’s film version of his RSC production of Hamlet starring David Tennant. The production is currently available to stream on PBS.org in the U.S.
Part 1 minutes
1:58–7:00 Initial thoughts on the production
7:00–11:23 Claudius in Act IV & Act V and the worldbuilding in the production
11:23–21:04 Translating the play into a hybrid film of the play (the sets, the cameras within the production, breaking the fourth wall)
21:04–31:05 Incest-y things: Laertes-Opehla and Hamlet-Gertrude
31:06–36:33 The Laertes-Ophelia-Polonius family unit
36:35–42:40 Denmark is a Prison? + Rearranging Act 2 & 3 (and the “To be or not to be” speech)
42:40–49:40 Excising (almost all of) Fortinbras and cuts to Horatio’s scenes
49:40:–1:00:06 Women in the production
Part 2 minutes
0:50–7:50 Ophelia’s madness – why does she always have to be naked when she’s crazy
7:51–14:24 Keeping up appearances, how everyone is performing for everyone else in this world, and the surveillance state
14:24–30:59 A controlled, diplomatic Polonius, the great Patrick Stewart, and David Tennant’s performance
31:00–39:35 The problems with Horatio, the need for a dispassionate observer, and the role of the camera
39:35–55:50 How does this “hybrid” film/play production work as a means of capturing theatre?
55:50–1:05:02 The humour in the production and the Hamlet/Polonius relationship
1:05:02–1:07:52 Sign-offs, the Yorick skull story, and outro
You can watch the film for free on the PBS website here. You can purchase the DVD or Blu Ray of the film on Amazon here.
Here is the full list of cast and creatives in the production.
We briefly mention Lindsay Turner’s 2015 production of Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch, which we discussed in depth in episode 1 here. We also mention Nicholas Hytner’s National Theatre production starring Rory Kinnear.
Host: Alex Heeney (@bwestcineaste)
Guests: Noemi Berkowitz (@noemiola), Caitlin Merriman (@CaitlinSnark), Mary Angela Rowe (@lapsedvictorian), Craig Ruttan (@crut)
Sound recordist and editor: Cam White (@JediDusk)