British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Hamlet

Synopsis
A video recording, using a single, fixed camera, of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 1989 production of Hamlet. Directed by Ron Daniels with Mark Rylance in the title role.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Video
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Recording date
1 Sep 1989
Duration
180 mins

Credits

Director
Ron Daniels
Writer
William Shakespeare
Music
Claire van Kampen
Production Design
Antony McDonald
Cast
Mark RylanceHamlet
Peter WightClaudius
Clare HigginsGertrude
Patrick GodfreyPolonius
Rebecca SaireOphelia
Andrew BridgmontRosencrantz
Andrew HavillReynaldo
Ben MilesBarnardo
Hilary TonesLady
Jack EllisHoratio
Jared HarrisFortinbras
Jimmy GardnerGravedigger (1)
John RammLaertes
Katherine StarkPlayer (2)
Mark BrignalVoltemand
Michael HowellSailor
Neil RichardsonPriest
Neil RichardsonMarcellus
Patrick BrennanGuildenstern
Paul LacouxOsric
Peter CarrCornelius
Roger TebbPlayer 3 (Player)
Russell EnochPlayer (1)
Russell EnochGhost
William OxborrowFrancisco
William OxborrowGravedigger (2)
William OxborrowViolinist

Additional Details

Production type
Stage Recordings
Historical period
1980s
Plays
Hamlet
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Notes

General
Rylance notably played the middle scenes in pyjamas in this celebrated production.
History
Press night 16 April 1989. The production later toured in the UK and in the United States for two year with Rylance retaining the title role.
Stills
Stills from, and design notes on, the production are available on the Arts and Humanities Performing Arts Data Service (AHDS) at http://ahds.ac.uk/performingarts/collections/designing-shakespeare.htm
Reviews
`Daniels and his designer, Antony McDonald, have done something rare in modern Hamlets. They have devised stage settings which become the ideal correlative and embodiment of Hamlet’s riven state of mind. McDonald’s set is a masterpiece of dislocation and disturbance, an alliance of the semi-surreal and the expressionistic. The palace is viewed through the perspective of an asymmetrical proscenium frame; its walls dizzily tilting as if about to fall; the central windows crazily askew... Rylance’s riveting tremulo Hamlet is a performance which is often exquisite and affecting in its seesaw of misery and rage and sense of futility. It is the appearance of the ghost which precipitates his breakup. His "antic disposition" is not part of a grand revenge design, but a symptom of his incipient mania’. Nicholas de Jongh, The Guardian 25 November 1989.

Production Company

Name

Royal Shakespeare Company

Web
https://www.rsc.org.uk External site opens in new window
Address
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Waterside
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
CV37 6BB

Archive

Name

Shakespeare Centre Library and Archive

Email
scla@shakespeare.org.uk
Web
https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/ External site opens in new window
Phone
01789 204016 (bookings)
Fax
01789 262073
Address
Henley Street
Stratford-upon-Avon
CV37 6QW

Record Stats

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