Radio: Playing the Dane

John Barrymore as Hamlet, 1922.

The actor Michael Sheen, who is playing Hamlet in 2011, presents this truly brill radio programme, about Hamlets past and present. You learn about the play itself (with proper real insights), the actors who have tackled this most personal and complex role, and the times that influenced the actors who played the role. So you get ’60s Hamlet David Warner, Freudian Hamlet John Barrymore, philosophically calm Hamlet Michael Redgrave, and sexually charismatic Hamlet Richard Burton. Plus Laurence Oliver, John Geilgud, Jonathan Pryce, Kenneth Branagh, Frances de la Tour, Rory Kinnear and others: all of them illuminating—about Hamlet, irony, melancholy, madness, and that area where so much of the play hovers, the hinterland between life and death. All this and To Be Or Not To Be. Fantastically good radio.

Archive on 4: Playing the Dane
Listen on BBC i-player anytime until Sat 30 Oct, 9pm
BBC Radio 4
— Daisy
25th October 2010

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