Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Great nights in the theatre (2): Hamlets / Angela Scoular RIP

HAMLET of course never goes out of fashion for every generation, and one thing about living in the greater London area one is never far away from a Hamlet! I saw David Tennant's a year or so ago - the full 4 hour version, so we exited the theatre after 11pm into a blizzard; while Jude Law and now Rory Kinnear are also attracting rave notices, as did Ben Whishaw a while ago. The young David Warner was a ground-breaking Hamlet too back in the early '60s, playing him as a gangly student with a long scarf. [I am not even going to mention the Oliviers and Gielguds!].

The first Hamlet I saw was Peter McEnery - all the young actors back then were giving us their gloomy Dane: Michael York in 1970, Jonathan Pryce an accaimed Hamlet too circa 1980 (with Jill Bennett as Gertrude), Stephen Dillane.

This particular Hamlet though is Alan Bates in 1970, a very rousing production, well cast too with Celia Johnson and Douglas Wilmer as Gertrude and Claudius, and Angela Scoular as Ophelia. It was interesting meeting Michael York a few years ago and having a conversation about his Hamlet.

RIP Angela Scoular (1965-2011) - she had a charming line in kooky, posh '60s birds (HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH (right, with Barry Evans), THE COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG etc) as well as extensive theatre work like her Ophelia (above) to Alan Bates' Hamlet, and she was married to Leslie Phillips!

next: all those LITTLE NIGHT MUSICs.

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