10 Best Hamlets?

Susanna Clapp at The Observer selects ten princes and brilliantly makes some less obvious choices. Irving, Tennant and Gielgud are there, but no Branagh, no Jacobi, no Berkoff. Instead:
"In Jonathan Miller's 2008 production at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol, Jamie Ballard was an almost revolutionarily sane Hamlet: flushed, disturbed but clear-sighted. This was Hamlet as a young man whose incisive mind was running away with itself. He was also a prince with a finely articulated past: from the beginning, he eyed up Laertes suspiciously; he debated with the adroitness and avidity of the philosophy student that he was; he seemed (unusually) truly to be in love with Ophelia. When he cried, he blubbed like a man whose flesh – and substance – really was beginning to melt."
Also has a clip of Jonathan Pryce's famous interpretation of the Ghost scene in which he was possessed by his father's spirit, the words tumbling out of his own mouth, which is unnerving.


  1. I too was surprised by the exclusion of Branagh and Jacobi, but I loved the inclusion of Innokenti Smoktunovsky!

  2. Yeah I was surprised as well... Oh well I guess everyone has their own opinion...

  3. I had never seen or heard of a Hamlet that does the ghost as well, "possessed" by him. Interesting.

    Did you all read/listen to the interview on NPR about the book "Hamlet's Blackberry," describing the tablet device he had in hand at the ghost scene? I wrote about it with original illustrations at: http://glowsandbeeps.blogspot.com/2010/11/to-tweet-or-not-to-tweet-hamlets.html