Published in The i July 20, 2021
It is 50 years since Ian McKellen last played Hamlet – a stretch of time itself greater than the age of most actors who play Shakespeare’s “sweet prince”. At 82, Sir Ian makes history as the oldest actor to have a stab at the part, in an age-blind production by Sean Mathias at the Theatre Royal Windsor.
Continue reading “Ian McKellen is the world’s oldest Hamlet. But did Shakespeare ever want his stars to act their age?”
Andrew Scott, 41, was born and raised in Dublin. Recently seen in the BBC adaptation of King Lear, he is best known for playing Moriarty in Sherlock, and for starring in Robert Icke’s production of Hamlet, which transferred from the Almeida to the West End last year. In 2008, Simon Stephens wrote Sea Wall – a monologue about grief – for Scott; it is being revived as part of the Old Vic’s bicentenary celebrations. Continue reading “Andrew Scott: ‘There was no Hamlet rivalry with Benedict Cumberbatch’”
King Lear. Henry V. Malvolio. Three of the greatest Shakespeare parts a man could ever hope to play? Think again – for these juicy roles are soon be taken by women, in what looks like a watershed for gender-blind casting. Continue reading “Gender-blind Shakespeare: classic roles are being taken by women”
There’s nothing like the promise of naked flesh to shift tickets. So twigged Mrs Laura Henderson, owner of an ailing West End theatre in the 1930s – and she also got around the stage censor by promising that her cast of nude young ladies wouldn’t move a muscle. Continue reading “Nudity on stage: the naked truth”