After hearing that Jude Law was portraying Hamlet on the West End, I really wanted to see it. Because Jude Law is ridiculously hot. I mean… because Hamlet is my favorite Shakespearean play. 🙂 (Actually, both statements are true.)
The show had been sold out for weeks, but the theatre made some seats & standing room tickets available each day at 10am. After queuing (note British term usage!) on Friday for 90 minutes, I failed to get tickets by 6 people. Arg!
The next day, more determined, my friend and I got to the theatre earlier. And, we managed to get 4 matinee private box seats!
That’s right. Box seats to see Jude Law in Hamlet. In London. AWESOME!
Jude Law as Hamlet was stunning. It was a different kind of Hamlet than I’d seen before. His Hamlet was less intellectual and more passionate, his hyper-consciousness more emotionally obsessive than philosophical. On stage, Jude Law had an undeniable presence and charisma. At times, Law played Hamlet’s feigned insanity really close to the over-acting line, but somehow managed never to cross it. It reminded you that he was actually a classically trained actor.
Note: The entire show/cast is moving to NYC in the fall. I highly recommend seeing it!
My two favorite scenes were…… (aka my attempt at being a drama critic )
The "to be, or not to be" speech. It’s one of my favorite Shakespeare passages, the poetry and themes having always resonated with me. Jude Law delivered the monologue with intensity and anguish, literally starting the speech in an on-stage snowstorm. Then, just before delivering the final line, he paused and smiled this clean, uninhibited smile. It was unexpected and unlike the other emotions he had played thus far: genuine, confident, disarming. It gave a glimpse of the Hamlet that might have existed before the twisted uncle-killed-my-father-married-my-mother events.
The confrontation between Hamlet and his mother Gertrude in her bedchamber. I normally don’t think much of this scene. But the Oedipal undertones were especially well done, with an incredible rhythm between the two actor’s sparring words. Also, the staging was excellent.