Friday, 2 January 2009

Doctor Who, Hamlet and David Tennant

I caught the end of Doctor Who at the Proms on New Year's Day and it got me to thinking how wonderful it is when a programme such as this can open young, and perhaps, older minds to other creative mediums. In the Proms audience were children of all ages, listening to a choir and orchestra playing Doctor Who themed music as screens displayed excerpts from the series. For children subjected to endless, unoriginal pop songs and manufactured rubbish - what a way for them to explore other musical genres. Their faces when Cybermen, Sontarans and the Ood walked amongst them was a joy to behold.

So, David Tennant, the current Doctor, until recently was playing Hamlet at Stratford and then it was transferred to London. Sadly, a back operation means he has had to pull out of Hamlet after much praise from critics and audiences alike. Get well soon, David.

Tickets sold out quickly for the production based primarily on the fact that David Tennant was playing Hamlet. There was criticism from some quarters based around the issue of a popular, TV actor who plays Doctor Who playing Hamlet. Apart from the fact David Tennant had already established himself as an RSC actor and, I do believe, had won awards for previous theatre performances, surely dismissive comments made about the casting of David Tennant fail to see the bigger picture and merely exacerbate the perceived snobbery and elitist attitudes associated with Shakespeare and theatre-going as a whole.

In my opinion, if a single actor can excite audiences into paying significant amounts of money to see him in a Shakespeare play and thus introduce a whole new audience, again both young and old, to the merits of Shakespeare - isn't that wonderful, exciting, inspiring? Isn't it something we should encourage if it opens up different worlds to people who may not have been interested before? Even if only one person from every twenty decided they wanted to see more theatre, more Shakespeare - shouldn't that be applauded and not criticised.


Kate said...

That sort of snobbery exists not only in theatre, but also in art, classical music and writing. It's a shame. You're right though, Tracy, it is good to see someone bring people to see Shakespeare and it should definitely be encouraged.

Kate (Nena)

Tracy said...

Kate, you're so right about the snobbery that exists in a variety of art forms.

Thanks for coming to my blog.

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