RSC Gregory Doran, 2008, David Tennant as Hamlet

Casting ghost and Claudius both played by Patrick Stewart; makes crime worse, more intimate, therefore increases immorality of Claudius
Costume Claudius in white dicky bowtie = celebration attire, Hamlet in black tie = funeral attire
Claudius enjoying fight between Laertes and Hamlet at funeral, sadistic
Claudius / guilt goes to bathroom to wash his hands – symbolic – and the mirror is broken here as well – facade breaking, cracks starting to show through own self reflection
Claudius / guilt begins speech about old ham, must clear his throat – evasive of guilt
Claudius’ confession light behind him shining down like heaven, but he is in darkness
Gertrude/Claudius When Claudius dies, he lays and stretches his hand to Gertrude, whose hand is outstretched also. He doesn’t reach her – catharsis
Claudius/Gertrude Claudius puts finger to Gertrude’s lips, and she kisses them – visual metaphor
Gertrude/Claudius she puts her hand out to him, he ignores her and walks away
Claudius/Hamlet Hamlet questioned tied up in chair in stairwell, seems hush hush, behind the scenes
Ghost dressed in armour; conflict, unfinished business
Ghost not visible on the CCTV – not holy? Malicious intent?
Ghost shakes Hamlet violently, and the camera shakes when he speaks – he is dangerous, powerful, and malicious
Gertrude at beginning seemed very glamorous and together, at end seems more dishevelled – shows the effect this whole rigamarole has had on her
Hamlet/Gertrude Hamlet violent with bedsheets in bedroom scene, not Gertrude, symbolic of bed of “luxury” and “damned incest”
Old family Hamlet cries into his mother’s lap, the ghost behind them, like the old family unit, accentuating what Hamlet has lost
Hamlet “to be or not to be”, close up, eyes closed, very intimate, as if Hamlet is deep in self reflection
Hamlet makes a sort of video diary – self reflection
intensity of Hamlet’s feeling accentuated when he swears to the ghost and runs his hand violently down a blade – audience may look away
Hamlet costume top with skeleton on – vulnerable, laying himself bare
Hamlet’s bandage soiled, covered in blood – trying to hide true feelings but they are spilling out
Hamlet’s evasiveness/INACTION looks anywhere but at his mother and Claudius – can’t face this life, will just avoid it
Surveillance shot in style of surveillance cameras – every move is being recorded and watched
Surveillance people watch Hamlet through double-sided mirror – appearances (reflection) vs. reality
The Mousetrap Hamlet films it all, and zooms in on Claudius watching it, isolating just his reaction
Claudius at Mousetrap the only production where we see Claudius’ true reaction to the play – he walks up to Hamlet and menacingly shakes his head
Polonius when Laertes speaking to Claudius, Polonius is mouthing what he’s saying: as if it has been rehearsed
Polonius dodges hug goodbye from Laertes
Polonius’ death Hamlet shoots MIRROR, Polonius given his own moment, dies very quietly, ceremonial. Mirror shattered, in pieces
Laertes/Ophelia she kneels, he is standing – hierarchy. She tells him not to be a hypocrite and pulls condoms from his bag
Ophelia mad, strips in front of everyone, shows her sexual frustration and vulnerability
Ophelia white veil in coffin – bridal – romanticised even in death
Life and Death gravedigger eats sandwich – unsavoury, black comedy
Life and Death Hamlet immediately puts on fencing attire, no meditation on death like Branagh; he has less of a care about his own life, more depressed
Life and Death floor very reflective, trapping – Ophelia lays on floor and sees herself, trapped between life and death in feminine passivity
Yorrick Yorrick’s skull from a real man – memories embedded are actually there, and even more meaningful. Thrown on pile, irrelevant in death, we are all the same.