Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday NIght Special: One Hot Hamlet

Since I mentioned Hamlet in my last post, I've been thinking about the "To Be or Not to Be" soliloquy from Act III, Scene 1.  It's rightly one of Shakespeare's most renowned passages, and I think there are two reasons for that. 

First, there are an awful lot of people in the world who can relate to its central theme, which is "Death must be pretty frigging bad if staying alive in this shitty world is the better alternative."  I hear you, Hammie.  I've been there.  You say it much prettier than I would, and presumably much prettier than the minions of Hades would say it in the underworld, too.  I don't think the land beyond the Styx has a very good theatre department, being populated mostly by former drama students who refused to sell out to Hollywood.

Second, the powerful content of the soliloquy lends itself to amazing performances of same.  In the right hands, there are few dramatic monologues more mesmerizing to see and hear.  Again, not done by scenery-chewing hacks who think Hamlet is just a nutjob in tights, but really played, like a masterful game of pinball.  Or some other more appropriate metaphor.  That's the best I can do on a Saturday night.

In any event, David Tennant played Hamlet in a BBC production a couple of years ago, and it was amazing.  Question from the front row?  Yes, better than Mel Gibson's, thanks for asking.  /facepalm  I've seen Hamlet performed many, many times, and not only was Tennant's one of the most inventive and powerful interpretations I've found, but he is hands down the hottest Danish prince ever.  I mean, wow. 

Here, then, is the incredibly talented (and did I mention hot? just checking) David Tennant in the "To Be or Not to Be" sololiquy from Hamlet.  Watch it, and then seek out the entire play on PBS or DVD.  Amazingly worth the three hours' investment.  Oh, and after the clip is a link to the soliloquy itself.  So you can see for yourself why I kick myself in the face whenever someone suggests that I might be a good writer.  Ay, there's the rub.

Now read it for yourself.

1 comment:

  1. That is one of the best "To be" soliloquies I've seen. But then, anyone who could bring the level of passion and believability to Doctor Who has to be one hell of an actor. He's pretty well blown every other Doctor out of the water.


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