"Life is so daily," says a character in a play of mine, "Why can't I get used to it?"
Much as you have lived in one day, if you survived, you have another day to live today, and tomorrow. And so on. And on.
So, HAMLET was yesterday. If this is Thursday it must be tomorrow and different things will happen today. But I have to assimilate yesterday first. Well, for starters, Hamlet was wonderful, that is, Jonathan Goad as Hamlet was wonderful, one of the better ones I have ever seen. I think The Birmingham Conservatory has paid off, the training lab at Stratford, directed by Martha Henry, that has taught actors to speak and not to recite Shakespeare. Goad, I see, was a member of the Conservatory in 1993. He is Hamlet, living in the moment, and speaking, reacting, swiftly and emotionally and of course, physically, to what is going on around him, and us. Brilliant.
I would like someone to explain to me the costume design. It seemed inconsistent but I'm sure the designer and director had reasons for their choices. A small cavil.
So this morning I read about Benedict Cumberbatch who is in rehearsal now for a limited (12 week) engagement to play HAMLET at the National Theatre. People from all over the world are buying, have bought, tickets, even some in India who have not yet secured their Visas to come to England.
Do not despair. National Theatre Live will be broadcasting a performance in October. I will be very interested to see it and obviously I am not alone in my desire.
As I have told you, I have seen so many productions of the play that I have long since lost count, beginning with my high school's production in which the role of Laertes was played (convincingly) by the school's basket ball star. I have seen the Gravediggers' Scene played in another amateur production that illustrated Shakespeare's consummate genius: that he could create actor-proof material that reaches beyond its human transmitters to reach the heart and humour of its audience.
Martha Henry was my definitive Ophelia, for all time. She was also my definitive Cordelia, and also my definitive Lady MacDuff. ("Now, God help thee, poor monkey!/But how wilt thou do for a father? ") There are no small parts, as they say.
Yes, well, I do go on, and could, for a long time. Well, and i've quoted Scarlett before: "Tomorrow is another day." And it's already tomorrow. Have a good one.