Friday, October 16, 2015


Back in August, was it? Grace and Jess went to the Barbican to see Benedict Cumberbatch in "Hamlet". Last night, they both saw it again. Jess in Bedford with a friend, and Grace in Rugby Cineworld with me. It was being streamed live from the Barbican to over 300 cinemas in the UK, and across the world. And it was superb!
OK, we did suffer some technical problems which meant that the pre-film documentary and the first scene of the play were seen in a squashed, wide screen, with Cumberbatch looking more like ET with head injuries than the Prince of Denmark. But the picture jumped into correct proportions at the opening of scene 2, and all was well after that. The production is brilliant, Cumberbatch outstanding, Sian Brooke's Ophelia wonderful.

There was some pretty poor acting, it has to be said, not least from Ciaran Hinds, playing Claudius. Guildenstern was pretty wooden, too. And I felt that the deaths in the last scene were pretty hammy, looking more like a school production than the National Theatre. But the weaknesses faded into insignificance in the sheer wonder of the whole production. It was so totally absorbing that I completely forgot that I was being forced to sit still for a total of three hours, something I hadn't been looking forward to, with just a 20-minute break before the final act.

The ice-cream was pretty special, too! It was a great evening out.

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