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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

my summer of David Tennant and ‘Hamlet’

So you may have heard — certainly I’ve mentioned it here — that David Tennant, aka the current Doctor Who, will be appearing in Hamlet and Love’s Labour’s Lost with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-on-Avon this summer and autumn. (Performances start in July, and I think they’re all sold out.) I’ve got tickets to both shows in late September/early October, and I’m really looking forward to my trip across the pond. Not just for the plays, but because I really love England, too, and it’s been too long (1996!) since I was there.
As a fan of both Tennant’s and Shakespeare’s, I’m very interested to see how the actor approaches the crazy Dane, because — having seen most of what Tennant has done that’s available on DVD — it’s clear that he’s got an affinity for the, ahem, somewhat alternatively mentally abled. The Doctor is one of the more even-keeled characters he’s played, and even the Time Lord is really not all that particularly sane. I saw Ralph Fiennes play Hamlet on Broadway, ooo, probably ten years ago or more now, and I remember being struck by how he played the character: like he really was insane, and not just crazy like a fox, the way most other interpretations have had him. I’m not sure if a genuinely crazy Hamlet is actually even supported by the text, but I loved the risk Fiennes took in doing that: he made the character his own in a unique way. And I’m expecting something similar from Tennant.

So, in preparation for my trip to the land of the Bard, I am rereading Hamlet and Love’s Labour’s Lost — nay, studying them, in fact. And more: I’m going to (re)watch every version of Hamlet on film I can find (plus Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead), and review them — which has the bonus added value of also tying in to the upcoming summer releases of the movies Hamlet 2 and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead.

I’m also going to rewatch all of Tennant’s stuff that I’ve got– a lovely pile of overseas DVDs — and talk about all that, too.

Not that I ever made more grandiose plans for myself than I’m able to get through… but I should be able to manage this between now and September…

my summer of David Tennant:

Secret Smile
Takin’ Over the Asylum audition
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Jude
Bright Young Things
David Tennant as Hamlet
David Tennant in Love’s Labour’s Lost
• (more to come)

my summer of Hamlet:

Maximilian Schell as Hamlet
Kevin Kline as Hamlet
Derek Jacobi as Hamlet
Mel Gibson as Hamlet
David Tennant as Hamlet
• (more to come)



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  • Poly in London

    I ‘ll be following the “Tennant” summer with great interest, the perfect warm up before seeing the two plays.
    The Royal Shakespeare Company website has published the full cast list for both plays, Nina Sosanya (“Bellino” in Casanova) plays Rosaline in Love’s Labour’s Lost. A lovers reunion, very excited about that.
    Are you planning to include Takin’ Over The Asylum
    at your Tennant reviews? It’s a 1994 BAFTA award winning series (six parts) with an absurdly young David Tennant in it. And a (not so absurdly young) Ken Stott. It’s a great drama, not available to buy until now, but it’s been released on region 2 dvd on 2 June. One of the extras is David Tennant’s audition tape!

  • lisa

    I’ve been reading your Doctor Who posts for a long while — which are wonderful analyses of the show — and I’m moved to comment this time as I will also be going to England this fall to visit friends and see Hamlet.

    I fell in love with Shakespeare in college and have been drawn to the UK numerous times in my life, so this is a great collision of my, errr, three loves… if I can swear to love Tennant in a wholly sane and appreciative manner based in reality.

    I like your plan. I’m rereading Hamlet as I write but I hadn’t thought of watching past interpretations of Hamlet. Good idea :)

  • MaryAnn

    Are you planning to include Takin’ Over The Asylum at your Tennant reviews?

    Of course! And *Blackpool,* and *Learners,* and *Casanova,* and *Harry Potter* (though he’s not in much more than two scenes or so) and *LA Without a Map* and anything else I can find.

  • Jackie

    For oompleteness, don’t forget the delectable tranny Davina in Rab C Nesbitt, which must hve been retty muh t first thing that he did on tv.

    And that very creepy killer that he played on The Bill.

  • jakob1978

    For those that have never seen DAvid’s turn in Rab C Nesbitt, here’s some clips

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0vXP0VcZZo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqkVMMgJ2Zg

    although I wonder how much of the dialogue some people will understand :-)

  • jakob1978

    Oh and a clip of David on the Bill (this isn’t available on dvd), playing a crazy guy as usual

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csW9_D9z8s0

  • Sonia

    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is my fave movie, and it was really hard for me to come to a final decision on that. Yea, I’m a dork. But its just brilliant.

  • bluestationwagon

    Will you watch the “Mrs. Bradley Mysteries” episode “Death at the Opera”? I checked these out from the library once just to kill some time, and was surprised to see both Tennant and Peter Davison in this episode. So, Time Crash wasn’t their first appearance together. Interesting.

  • MaryAnn

    Well, now that I know that he’s in that episode, sure, I’ll watch.

  • Hamlet’s cast has now been announced. Patrick Stewart will be playing both Claudius and the ghost of Hamlet’s father. John Woodvine (‘The Armageddon Factor’/’An American Werewolf in London’) will be the Player King.

    http://www.playbill.com/news/article/118094.html

  • Sarah

    Not that I don’t love him, but don’t you think he’s a tad old to play Hamlet? It’s like a few years ago there was a poll for stratford, and apparently james marsters was britain’s choice to play romeo. They’re both great actors, just a little well seasoned.

    Tennant I’d love to see as MacBeth. Or Richard III, who was actually not a hunchback and known for his charm.

  • Poly in London

    According to the play, Hamlet is thirty. He is not a teenager. In british theatre, there was one recent young Hamlet, Ben Whishaw who played the part in 2004 at the age of 24, but having a young Hamlet was central element to that production and it’s the exception, not the rule. Most actors are in their thirties or even fourties.

  • Jackie

    There’s a convention that Romeo is usually played by an actor in his 20s, Hamlet by an actor in his 30s and Richard III an actor in his 40s / early 50s.

    Of course in reality, Romeo would be about 16 (Juliet is 14 in the play), Hamlet late teens / early 20s and Richard III no more than 32 (his age when he died), but then Richard III when he apeared in Henry VI Part II would actually be a toddler of 2, which would have made his actions in the Battle of St. Albans truly astonishing. So Shakespeare’s ages are way out of synch with his character’s true ages anyway.

  • MaryAnn

    The text of *Hamlet* does actually state his age as 30. Which makes him an extended adolescent on a scale typically not seen until the late 20th century. :->

  • Eva

    You may also consider adding to your list, the shorts: Traffic Warden, sweetnight goodheart, and Nine and a half minutes. Traffic Warden is quite lovely for a film with practically no dialogue.

  • Mimi

    MaryAnn, I can’t wait to read your response to “Blackpool.” I keep seeing it on your “What I’m Watching, Region 2” thingamajig, and sending you urgent ESP messages to watch faster, watch faster, and write, write! (Are you getting any of those? No? Well.)

    And I agree with Eva above, “Traffic Warden” is a totally enjoyable ten minutes. Worth a look.

  • MaryAnn

    I’ve seen *Blackpool* twice through now, and I will get around to writing about it this summer, never fear.

  • Mimi

    Then, as the producers of *Doctor Who* say endlessly in their DVD commentaries: Hooray. The fact that you’ve watched it twice through makes me look forward to the review even more. Hooray!

  • Have you seen the BBC pilot called Only Human? It’s not even listed on his imbd.com page. You can watch it at http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=DAEAF7DC5C68EE35

  • MaryAnn

    I have not seen that. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • brie

    (first time posting a comment. woo.)

    have you watched Recovery?

    he is amazing in it, but its….devastating. and intense.
    I could only watch it once :(
    but if you are doing a study of David’s varied acting its a must see because he is so deep in his part I felt more like I was watching a documentary….if that makes sense.

    Something Tennant does, that honestly I think he does better than anyone, is he BECOMES his characters. I can’t explain it, but he even looks like a completely different person in different roles. And its not make up or costume, its in his face. The way he carries himself, the way his eyes move. Even if he’s dressed up as the doctor, when hes not “the doctor” he doesn’t quite look the same..

    sorry about all that rambling :)
    I just really really wish I was seeing him in hamlet.

  • is “Recovery” available on dvd, because i keep looking for it, and haven’t seen it yet.

  • Weimlady

    Bronxbee, Recovery is on Youtube in nine ten-minute segments. I’m in the process of watching it (it’s a process because I’m on dial-up!) and it is must-see DT. I’ve seen segments 1-6. Don’t want to spoil it for anyone so won’t comment further, except to say that I also e-mailed BBC Drama and BBC America and asked them to consider releasing it on DVD and showing it, respectively. Maybe if enough people do likewise, Auntie Beeb will catch on that they could make some (additional) money off David’s immense talent and popularity, and the you-tube-challenged will get to see it.

  • MaryAnn

    I can’t explain it, but he even looks like a completely different person in different roles

    Absolutely. He’s a chameleon.

    And YouTube is no way to watch anything. There are other ways of watching *Recovery*… and I’m sure it will be on DVD soon. It’s just that it’s relatively recent.

  • Weimlady

    There are other ways of watching *Recovery*…

    For people on dial-up? Do tell!

  • Poly in London

    Have you seen the episode The Actor from People Like Us?
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=Tv4V8yJrBqE
    (in four parts)

    People Like Us is a spoof documentary series, every episode being a day in the life of a fictional person, exploring their career and lifestyle. In this episode from 2001, DT plays the central character, actor Rob Harker. Apart from the programme being hilarious, it’s one of my favourite DT performances. It’s naturalistic and understated, in many ways different from what he usually does (in many of his performances, he makes big choices and still makes them look natural) but in this one he is low key and still absolutely charismatic and hilarious.

  • MaryAnn

    I haven’t seen *The Actor* — thanks for pointing it out.

    For people on dial-up? Do tell!

    Many things that have been on TV can be found online in downloadable form, which one can then, theoretically, either watch on a computer or burned onto a DVD.

    Of course, these downloads are illegal. And not really feasible over a dialup connection anyway.

  • Weimlady

    Poly, thanks for the link to The Actor. Only thing I hated about it was seeing him smoke. Ew. Sure hope that was for the camera only.

    Quoting MaryAnn:

    Of course, these downloads are illegal. And not really feasible over a dialup connection anyway.

    Ah well, that’s as I thought. So my dial-up connection is keeping me legal and teaching me patience. Good things both.

    Free access to so much of his work is worth the wait. Have watched Recovery, Only Human, The Actor, Traffic Warden, Sweet Night Good Heart, Nine and a Half Minutes, and various silly fan vids that caught my eye recently, and enjoyed them all.

    MaryAnn, do you ever do comparison reviews? I’m thinking Harrison Ford in Regarding Henry and David in Recovery. I kept seeing parallels as I was watching Recovery. The biggest one is that I liked both characters–Henry and Alan–more after their brain injury than before. Especially Henry–Alan was okay pre-injury, but he was so sweet afterwards (once he’d worked through his initial grief and rage and turned the corner to learning to live again).

  • Poly in London

    “Only thing I hated about it was seeing him smoke. Ew. Sure hope that was for the camera only.”

    He doesn’t smoke. I saw him in a couple of things recently where his character is a smoker and I always think, maybe because I know he doesn’t smoke, that he looks funny, not natural.

    “So my dial-up connection is keeping me legal and teaching me patience.”

    Youtube clips of copyrighted material are not legal. Funnily enough, when Takin Over the Asylum was recently released on dvd, its writer publicly (and privately***) thanked a fan you had uploaded the whole programme on youtube, because, she said, the interest generated by youtube viewings convinced the BBC to release the dvd.

    *** they sent this fan a dvd signed by DT and other cast.

  • Weimlady

    *** they sent this fan a dvd signed by DT and other cast.

    Way to punish illegal activity! That for sure will be a deterrant to future Youtube copyright disrespectors. :-)

  • MaryAnn

    Just goes to show that copyright laws have, in many ways, ceased to serve creators, as was the original intention, and now serve only the middlemen (movie studios, book publishers, TV networks, etc) who make the majority of the money to be made from creative material.

  • Weimlady

    MaryAnn, don’t limit yourself to his DVDs. I bought some of the Doctor Who audiobooks, three of which David narrates (performs would be more accurate), and one of them in particular is absolutely marvelous. Feast of the Drowned by Stephen Cole. Excellent story, worthy of being filmed, but the truly delightful thing about it is David’s performance. So many voices, so many accents, and all wonderful! I had to keep reminding myself that it was him doing Mickey, and not Noel Clarke himself. He nails him! And there’s an American character in it, so we get to hear David do American English, which had me grinning as much as hearing the Proclaimers singing King of the Road did! (See your “A Little Bit of David Tennant” entry for that comment.)

    Amazon (US and UK) now has more of my money, as I found more audiobooks he’s done and had to (HAD to, I say!) order them. I love being read to. I’m sure it goes back to my dad reading to us all at bedtime. A well-loved male voice reading to me is comfort food for my soul. {sigh}

  • MaryAnn

    I’m sure his audio performances are fine, but I’m gonna have enough trouble getting through all the DVDs I have to get through…

  • We also recently bought Pest Control. Tennant’s facility for accents is quite extraordinary.

    I’m so sorry you won’t be at Worldcon this year….

  • MaryAnn

    David Tennant needs to stop working so I can catch up. :->

    No, I will not be at Worldcon. Hopefully next year, in Montreal…

  • Carey

    I second the recommendation on the audiobooks- just for pure David Tennant bliss, you can’t beat falling asleep with his voice in your ears. :) I’ve never been so happy to have children as I was when I discovered he narrated a bunch of children’s books. :)

  • Weimlady

    Oh, Carey–you’re braver than I! I didn’t want to admit to falling asleep to his voice every night! :-) Doesn’t even matter that I fall asleep in two minutes or less and so have to listen to the disc in other circumstances to actually follow the story.

    I just got the audio cassettes of his Henry VI from the library and listened to that as I went to sleep last night. He plays Henry VI who is an infant in the first scenes, so never even got to the point of hearing his voice before falling asleep. Oh well. Guess I’ll have to listen to that one while awake!

  • Weimlady

    MaryAnn said:

    David Tennant needs to stop working so I can catch up. :->

    Oh no no no no no! He needs to keep working so we can never catch up. Nothing sadder than having seen it all. There are Tom Baker episodes that I still haven’t seen and haven’t wanted to–just because I never wanted to know that there was no more new Who for me to see.

    That was, of course, back before New Who. So it would be safe for me to go back and watch those eps–but now, of course, I’m spoiled by David’s Doc and the new series, and I don’t want to!

  • Carey

    Weimlady, I have no shame where David Tennant is concerned! Get Eva Ibbotson’s “The Beasts of Clawstone Castle”. It’s an ‘older kid’s’ book, scottish accent, and he does some amazing voices! My kids can’t figure out why I like that story so much…

  • Weimlady

    Carey, I ordered How to Train Your Dragon (Hiccup) by Cressida Cowell a few days ago and am eagerly awaiting it. Now I’ll have to add The Beasts of Clawstone Castle to my order. Thanks for the tip!

  • Carey

    Weimlady, I would love to hear what you think of the Cressida Cowell book when you get it! You can email me if you want at tribble _ h (at) yahoo . com (no spaces, etc). I also bought a John Barrowman CD so I can fall asleep to his lovely voice as well. :)

  • Gaynell Bates

    David also did some Big Finish Audios before he was the Doctor. He is in one with Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor where David plays a nasty Nazi officer called Colditz. He is in one with Colin Baker where he is a sympathetic character called Daft Jamie (I may not remember the name exactly). There there is a Big Finish production called The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, where David voices the main character.

    Also there was a radio comedy series called Double Income No Kids Yet that I think is on Youtube with pictures along with the audio. In this series he uses his normal Scottish accent and it is very funny and sometimes sad.

    GB

  • Liz

    I can’t even tell you how jealous I am, but I hope you have a great time. I was just in London on a layover a couple of weeks ago and went to the Doctor Who Exhibition in Earls Court (awesome!), and before that, I was in Denmark visiting the castle that inspired Shakespeare to write Hamlet, and I couldn’t stop thinking about David. I am insanely proud of that man.

    Are you going to try to brave the crowds at the stage door and get some pictures?

  • MaryAnn

    Are you going to try to brave the crowds at the stage door and get some pictures?

    As I’ve said elsewhere here, No freakin’ way. I’m going to try to get an interview with Tennant (though I’m not hopeful this will come through), as well as some other Doctor Who folk, but I will not hover by the stage door. It’s too sad. I’d rather not be seen at all than be seen as a crazy-ass fan.

  • amanohyo

    So… if you were able to get this interview, would you be able to communicate verbally in his presence? I mean, a puddle can really only bubble and sort of… flow in his general direction. I’m only half joking; could you maintain your composure and resist the dangerous fangirl urges? Honestly? I know you’re a mature adult and all, but really? With THE Doctor (or at least the actor who currently plays him), sitting three feet away? Seems awfully tough. We all hope you get the interview, you certainly deserve it with all the blogging you do.

  • MaryAnn

    “Fangirl urges”? Like what? (I’m almost afraid to ask that.)

    I’ve met and spoken to lots of famous people — even ones I’m big fans of, even ones that make me swoon at the remove of the TV or movie screen — and managed to maintain my composure while talking to them. Actually, it’s not even a matter of “managing” anything. There simply is a huge difference between getting lost in the fantasy of a movie or TV show and actually meeting someone in person, and this is certainly so within a professional situation like an interview. It’s actually not hard to not be a blubbering fan if you see them as people and artists — particularly when you remember that most people love to talk about their work — and not as weirdly superhuman demigods.

  • amanohyo

    I used to feel sorry for them. Sitting in a room answering the same questions and telling the same rehearsed anecdotes over and over to interviewer after interviewer. But you’re right, they’re professionals, you’re a professional and it’s just one more part of the job. You’d probably have more interesting and informed questions than the average journalist too.

  • Poly in London

    The first official production photos of Hamlet have been released:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/celebritynews/2470437/David-Tennant-as-Hamlet.html

  • i have to say, i’m a little disappointed that the coat and little beard from the poster seem to have disappeared. that was absolutely awesome…

  • I’m worried.

    “Another lingering question is if David Tennant, who plays the title character [in Doctor Who], will be returning for Season 5. Gardner confirmed that Tennant has made and given his decision to the BBC. She added that she was not privy to it.”

    From: http://tinyurl.com/5krx9t

    If he were coming back, why wouldn’t they announce it? It seems to me that the only scenario that makes sense if they know his decision and haven’t said anything about it is that he’s declined their offer and they’re working on replacing him. Which of course is impossible.

  • Weimlady

    Tennant Extraordinary as Hamlet

    Nice little video clip here:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7543780.stm

    of the director of Hamlet talking about the production and David.

  • well, actually, he says DT has been extraordinary in coping with the pressures of doing Hamlet in such a high profile production.

  • Dawn

    Well – can I just say that having SEEN “Hamlet” – and I can honestly say that my seat was THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE (you just wouldn’t believe how brilliant this seat was – 5th row and as close to being actually on the stage as you can get,and an inch from the performers as they entered – wow.)

    Mary Ann I am sure that you are just going to love it….everyone is going to love it, the staging is superb. I dragged my friend (well – not dragged exactly – she was worried about “Shakespeare” not having ever seen a play but I had already introduced her to all of David’s brilliant TV work so she came very willingly indeed!) She was blown away by the performance – the whole ensemble were brilliant and DT was exceptional…and just have to say Horatio had us sitting there with tears in our eyes as Hamlet died in front of us, brilliant work!!! Of course the critics are trying to throw in the odd punch but then say that he is a great Dane (?!)

    Have to admit that when we couldn’t get returns for the next night (yes it was that inspiring) we did wander around to the stage door – but not to go close – just to watch the melee from afar. BUT then we got talking to some really lovely people who persuaded us to go and get our programmes from our hotel and they would make sure that there was a place for us if we wanted his autograph – we weren’t sure about it but we relented – not expecting even to see him!

    All I can say is that David is the loveliest, kindest and truly humble person that I have ever met. So I apologise for turning into a fangirl as hanging around stage doors just isn’t my thing but to watch the way he listened and talked to those around just made me love him even more. Thankfully being at the front we were away from the nutty people who seem to emerge from the Dirty Duck/Black Bull once the show is over and who were fighting to see a glimpse of him.

    Favourite part of the play – the closet scene – phenomenal! His “Goodnight Mother” still makes me giggle even now! (as he dragged Pelonius past me – he’s stronger than he looks LOL!)

    Oh I am so looking forward to Love’s Labours Lost!

    Enjoy your trip to Stratford… Hamlet’s father was not the only ghost we saw on our trip – we had one in our bedroom!?! Patrick Stewart was a lot scarier than our ghost thankfully! (And by the way PS is lovely too!)

  • MaryAnn

    Horatio had us sitting there with tears in our eyes as Hamlet died

    SPOILER!!

    Just kidding. :->

  • Jan Willem

    In an interesting profile on Doctor Hamlet, The Times reports: “After intense speculation about Tennant’s future as Doctor Who, it seems that because of his RSC commitments there will be no series next year, but he has signed up for four specials. No actors have been signed up for the fifth series to be broadcast in 2010.”

  • Jan Willem

    I should have added that the profile may be found here.

  • MaryAnn

    That’s not news: We’ve known for ages that Tennant is onboard for 2009, and we’re still waiting for news on what’s happening casting wise for 2010.

  • Poly in London

    Personally I am wondering how he will feel going back to Doctor Who after Hamlet, especially if he is going back for more than the specials.
    With the reviews he got, in a very public front page way, his profile changed. He has enormous momentum, even more than before. He can do anything he wants. Will he feel restricted going back to Doctor Who (not that he ‘ll think it’s less, but it is the same).

  • Joanne

    With the reviews he got, in a very public front page way, his profile changed. He has enormous momentum, even more than before. He can do anything he wants.

    Is Tennant that sort of actor, though? I’ve always had the impression from his DW interviews and so on that he absolutely loves being the Doctor – he’s a DW geek, after all. Will he want to go chasing fame and fortune, or is he after enjoying himself a bit longer, or does he want the challenges of work like Hamlet? He’s always had a good reputation in the theatre, so that, to me, hasn’t really changed much at all. It’s just brought that fact home to the non-theatre going audience.

  • MaryAnn

    Tennant’s already got fame and relative fortune — not Hollywood-style fortune, but not bad, either. The DW production schedule doesn’t seem so onerous that it precludes him doing other working (including Hollywood films, if he so chose). So I’d like to think that he’s in a position to have his cake and eat it too.

  • Mimi

    Actually, various people who create DW moan a whole lot in the DVD box set extras about how onerous a schedule it is! It came up (among other times) when Anthony Head, formerly of “Buffy,” guested in DW2. The audio commenters on that episode (DT and maybe RTD as well? Not sure exactly) talked about being so in awe of Head and asking him how on earth the “Buffy” folks did 22 shows a season because they (DW) could barely survive 13, etc etc etc. There’s also a lot of “I love this job but oh my god, it’s freezing cold out here at 4 a.m. in rural Wales and this is the 7th 18-hour workday we’ve had in a row and we’ve been shooting for 5 weeks without a day off, oh my god… not that I don’t love my job!”

    So I can imagine feeling like it’s time to move on, especially when you have lots of career possibilities and enough money to be picky (and spend a lot of time enjoying life, too). Not that I want that, for my own fan purposes, mind you! Here’s to having cake and eating it too!

  • Eva

    They certainly moan about their schedule but they do get blocks of time off between series/seasons. Since being in DW, David has been in Recovery and Learners. My fangirl heart hopes that pattern will continue.

  • jackie

    The main differences between the shooting schedule for a 13 episode DW and a 22 episode US series is that on the whole US series like this have a larger regular cast, so a lot of filming can be done by two units, double-banked and there’s plenty of opportunities to give the cast members enough time off to keep them alive.

    It’s rather noticeable when in the 13 series (plus Christmas special) schedule for DW when the double-banked bits happen, as the main leads are usually absent. The regulars do look absolutely exhaused by the end of the shooting year. DT always seems to be noticeably skinnier at the end of a series too. It’s a punishing schedule.

  • Weimlady

    Jackie said:

    DT always seems to be noticeably skinnier at the end of a series too. It’s a punishing schedule.

    Speaking of punishing schedules…I was wondering how many times a week Hamlet was being played. Having read a lot of old show biz biographies where they talk about doing two shows a night plus matinees on the weekends, I was pleased and surprised to see that most weeks there are only four performances of Hamlet scheduled, giving David (& Co.) a chance to recover from what sounds like an exhausting physical performance. But come November, when Hamlet and Love’s Labours Lost are both on, he’s doing seven shows a week! Some days, both plays! Sounds like he’ll be starting Doctor Who skinnier than usual this year. Good thing (for his sake) it isn’t a 13 episode series

  • Weimlady

    Watched Learners last night. He is unbearably adorable in it. Geek chic indeed (which is what Julie Gardner said he was on one of the DW commentary tracks). If anyone doubts that he would make a great grown-up Harry Potter (as has been discussed elsewhere on this site), watch this movie & reconsider.

  • Jaye

    I have been searching for Doctor Who audio books especially the one “Feast of the Drowned” by Stephen Cole and cannot find it at amazon.ca or.com….forgive my ignorance here, but will British Audio CD’s play on North American CD players,…not sure if they are made for different regions like DVD’s?

  • Jo

    Jaye: CDs are universal, so you shouldn’t have any problems playing a British CD in America (or vice-versa, for that matter …)

  • Jaye

    Thanks Jo, I appreciate your speedy response.

  • Weimlady

    Not sure to put this in the David Tennant thread or the Dark Knight thread, but this one’s shorter, so chose it.

    Check out one artist’s conception of David as The Riddler here.

    Works for me.

  • Brenda

    I was in England recently and sadly could not get a ticket to see Hamlet. Mary Ann do you think that RSC will film a performance and actually show it on the BBC?

  • MaryAnn

    That would be nice, but I have no basis for estimating the likelihood of that.

  • Poly in London

    Re a Hamlet dvd, there is definitely a precedent, and recent precedent at that, RSC filmed last year’s King Lear to be shown on BBC, PBS and to be released on dvd.

    I know that the RSC has received the question from many fans, at the beginning the answer was very neutral, more recently their answer is much more positive, they are considering etc.

    I reckon the biggest obstacle is the actor’s availability. They can’t just film a performance, they ‘ll need to work on it as if it was a film and that takes time.

    By the way, Gregory Doran, the director, told The Times that they are looking for a New York transfer.

  • Weimlady

    Oh sweet Poly in London, you have made my heart sing! Thank you for that good news. And I think there must be a compromise between just taping a performance and going at it as an all-out film, because I have an ancient video of Sweeney Todd that is exactly that, a video of the Broadway show. It isn’t just a fixed POV, as if they had set a video camera in a seat and let it run, it does have closeups and such, but it clearly isn’t a filmed version. I’d be very happy with something similar of Hamlet and Love’s Labours Lost.

    I’ll take anything I can get! And if it does come to NYC, I may have to make the sojourn, assuming I can get/afford tix!

    Also just read here that they will “reportedly” be filming two of the 2009 specials on our side of the pond. Big cheesy grin here at that thought!

  • Poly in London

    I forgot to say: RSC films all their plays for their archive, and it’s what you said, multicamera, with some close ups and editing but it is the filming of a performance on stage. These tapes/dvds are held by the Shakespeare Birthday Trust and can be viewed by appointment at their premises in Stratford. All Tennant’s previous work with the RSC exists at the archive.

    In fact, the day of the Hamlet press night, BBC had a news report and showed a brief clip from Romeo and Juliet.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7544306.stm

  • Poly in London

    Of course I meant “Shakespeare Birthplace Trust” instead of “Shakespeare Birthday Trust”! Multitasking doesn’t always work!

  • Weimlady

    Oh Poly. You have just utterly changed my plans for that long-awaited trip to England. Forget the British Museum. Forget Sutton Hoo. Forget the Lake District and James Herriott country. I’m going to Stratford and plunking myself down in front of a monitor and watching those archives! :)

  • Weimlady

    If any faithful FlickFilosopher readers attend the RSC’s Open Day on Sunday, please report in with all possible details. Thanks in advance!

  • For British readers – it looks like BBC4 is having it’s own Summer of David Tennant. With ‘Takin Over the Asylum’ screening on Saturday evenings, The Chatterley Affair (with Tennant doing a lovely turn as a working class northern English professor) and tonight The Quatermass Experiment. None of it seems to be turning up on iPlayer, so you’ll need to watch /record real time.

  • Lisa

    and Friday Night Project repeated yesterday too!

    you guys should check him out on that too – it’s so funny!

    David “Teninch” Tennant tied to a bed in a less than loose pair of knickers? I’m so there!

    My name is David Tennant and I love Alan Carr!

    Given that your nickname is Teninch and John Barrowman is always getting his out, which of you is bigger?

    Well all I can say is he’s never shown it to me – too intimidated, I guess – I’ll let John defend his own genitalia!

    Do you ever get girlfriends to call you the Dr in bed?

    I prefer the Master in those sorts of situations

    Tennant’s SEXtras is very funny too if only for the scene where he’s trying to help Justin and George maintain a sexual position without falling over.

    Graham Norton’s pretty funny too

    Hi I’m David Tennant and today I’ll be taking you from behind.

    Bet it’s on utube

    Lisa x

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