David Tennant is a contributor to Discovering Hamlet which has its debut showing in the UK on Sky Arts 2 tonight. In the programme, actors and directors discuss the challenges of staging the Shakespeare tragedy.
From Sky Arts:
Climbing a thespian’s everest
Playing the Prince of Denmark is said to be like climbing Mount Everest, calling on brilliance, great stamina and huge vocal resources from the performer. And, like a giant theatrical magnet, the play and its title character have enticed top directors and actors from around the world to bring the drama to life for more than 400 years.
Hamlet is possibly one of the most interpreted roles in theatre history. Through some of William Shakespeare’s most famous soliloquies we watch a man stricken with grief, disgust, and anger battle with his inner demons. But his inaction for revenge is seen as both cunning and cowardly; his madness both genuine and part of a clever plan. So who is Hamlet? And why does the famously introspective character attract such keen attention in the arts world?
“There is just something eternal about it and there is something eternal about Hamlet himself. That people keep coming back to it. People are fascinated by it.” – David Tennant
In Discovering Hamlet we show how the popular tragedy has soaked up change and custom over the last four centuries and remains as powerful today as on its opening night, and why the great and the good want a shot at acting a man unable to make up his mind.
Explored through the experiences of the major actors and directors who have brought the play to life, those sharing their insights include Christopher Plummer, David Tennant, John Simm, Franco Zeffirelli, Sir Johnathan Miller, Michael Radford, Sir Trevor Nunn and more.
“Everyone great bad or indifferent wants to play Hamlet.” – Christopher Plummer
Discovering Hamlet can be seen on Sky Arts 2 tonight at 9.40pm. It is repeated on the same channel on Wednesday 18th at 7pm, Saturday 21st at 1pm and on Sunday 22nd at 12.35am.
Sky Arts 2 can be found on Sky Channel 130 and on Virgin Channel 283 (Sky Arts 2) and Channel 284 (Sky Arts 2 HD).