Sunday, August 15, 2010

Who's best to judge Hamlet?

PJ Purdey makes a good point (in a Guardian article illustrated with a perfect picture of Tennant) about who the best judge of a play should be:
"Who's best qualified to assess the merits of a new production of Hamlet: a practising theatre critic, or a Danish prince? The former brings a certain amount of theatrical experience to the task: he or she has probably seen the play before, and so is at least well placed to judge the originality and competence of the staging under review. But the latter, even if a theatrical virgin, will have valuable insights of a different order to offer, especially if he's of an introspective disposition and has had a father expire in suspicious circumstances. In short, the Danish prince will know how it feels, and can therefore judge whether Shakespeare has got it right."
Purdey is reacting to some of the reviews his new play Subs has received both from critics and the sub-editors it illustrates.

It seems to me the ideal person to judge a new production of Hamlet would be a Danish Prince who is also a theatre critic.

In other words, Hamlet himself.

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