Hamlet: 2015 production Sky interview notes

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  • Created by: holiviabr
  • Created on: 05-05-16 16:41

Sky arts: Extended interview on Hamlet

Hamlet is a role through which every eminent actor must jump.

40 yr old brilliance- new audience.

Relevance of Shakespeare.

Began carrier with Shakespeare – two seasons running – part of background – really feeling in the bones it was the right time to play hamlet.

You have to commit yourself fully towards hamlet.

Bring a play to a culture, taking their time.


Interviewer:New intense representation of inwardness for Shakespeare. – Glory of a play ( play about a genius by a genius.

To be or not to be:to find the need to say something.

Benedict:immediate access to a consciousness in an unconscious world. Not just metaphysical or philosophical point of is there a world that exists outside of our brain (senses) , he sees himself isolated in an uncaring world.

1st: too solid flesh would melt

Wishing himself to be absent to world he feels to be devoid of humanity due to experiences of grieving son. Mother remarrying- in a particular psychological state- broken through a time warp- politics- state of the union- pre amble to a party- a man, isolated by dress, denied escaping from this world- slips through to talk to the audience honestly- world is at fault.

Interviewer:parallel universe he is creating

Benedict: sometimes it is a conversation in a mirror or synapses in the brain- parts of the process of his thought = audience- direct you and you are sharing these- projection of himself- it is a void you look into- abyss continues throughout the play till turning point (play).

2nd: too be or not to be

It is purely is it right to take your own life or not – doesn’t have the will – depression this sinks him into – no escape to toxicity- ‘’I have of late but there for no not lost my myth’ – his love has broken up with him to expose him in a court- death of father and ghost- dramatic irony- talks honestly about the world he cannot escape through suicide- beautiful to look at (potency of humanity and potential it has) but hamlet cannot see this- everything is rotten.

Interviewer: what do you think Shakespeare gains by not putting that into a conversation with a friend?

Benedict: the main thing is you have more listening and involvement with one man’s point of view (romance with him) in them then without- you understand man- potency in sharing profound thoughts in any language- what is it to be a human being- stark and naked.

Incoherent and disconnected- this is elegant and formulated. He argues with himself and takes his own argument apart.

Antitheses: existence and non-existence.

He talks the problem through – real beauty- felt imagination- sorts problems out through these.


Plot:powerless from the start- no royal service- wants to be extracted from the situations that draw him in- then has to do


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