GREAT HAM­LETS – SHAME ABOUT THE LACK OF MOVIES

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - COVER STORY -

Mark Ry­lance

His py­jama-clad 1988 turn as the great pre­var­i­ca­tor was fa­mously un­set­tling. Ry­lance also played the part in the open air dur­ing his time run­ning the Globe Theatre. Film roles are weirdly fe wand far be­tween, but he did re­veal all in Pa­trice Chereau’s sex­u­ally ex­plicit In­ti­macy in 2000.

Simon Rus­sell Beale

Along with Mark Ry­lance, Beale, now 54, is fre­quently touted as the best theatre ac­tor of his gen­er­a­tion. Most un­usu­ally, he man­aged to play Ham­let and KingLear at the Na­tional Theatre in Lon­don within 10 years of one an­other. He has few sig­nif­i­cant film roles, but can be seen in The Deep Blue Sea and Into the Woods.

Paul Scofield

Scofield de­liv­ered a fa­mous Ham­let op­po­site a young Claire Bloom in 1947. He barely ap­peared be­fore a cam­era over the fol­low­ing 20 years, but then man­aged to gra­ban Os­car in A Man for All Sea­sons. He never got on much with movies – filmed ver­sions of stage pro­duc­tions such as Peter Brook’s King Lear noted – but was su­per in Quiz Show.

Frances de la Tour

One of the most ac­claimed fe­male Ham­lets, de la Tour is best known on screen for her turn as Miss Jones in the TV se­ries Ris­ing Damp. She was in Brook’s fa­mous pro­duc­tion of A

Mid sum­mer Night’s Dream and many un­for­get­table pro­duc­tions for the Na­tional Theatre and the RSC. She also briefly ap­pears in Into the Woods.

Ni­col Wil­liamson

A Scot­tish ac­tor of dis­turb­ing pres­ence, he was a more than usu­ally mad Ham­let in a wildly ac­claimed pro­duc­tion for Tony Richard­son. The filmed ver­sion, fea­tur­ing Mar­i­anne Faith­full as Ophe­lia, didn’t quite come off and Wil­liamson set­tled into a n intermittent film ca­reer. He is per­haps best known as Mer­lin in John Boor­man’s Ex­cal­ibur.

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