British Universities Film & Video Council

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Hamlet

Synopsis
A live sound recording of Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet for the National Theatre Company with Peter O’Toole in the title role.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Audio
Recording date
22 Oct 1963

Credits

Director
Laurence Olivier
Writer
William Shakespeare
Music
John Addison
Cast
Peter O’TooleHamlet
Michael RedgraveClaudius
Diana WynyardGertrude
Max AdrianPolonius
Rosemary HarrisOphelia
Alan RidgwaySailor
Anthony NichollsGhost
Colin BlakelyCaptain
Dan MeadenFrancisco
Derek JacobiLaertes
Frank FinlayGravedigger (1)
Harry LomaxPlayer King
John Rogers (3)Player Queen
John StrideFortinbras
Keith MarshReynaldo
Martin BoddeyClaudio, a Lord
Michael RothwellGravedigger (2)
Michael TurnerMarcellus
Peter CellierRosencrantz
Raymond ClarkeGuildenstern
Reginald GreenSailor
Reginald GreenCornelius
Richard HamptonBarnardo
Robert LangLucianus
Robert StephensHoratio
Roger HeathcottPriest
Terence KnappOsric
Trevor MartinVoltemand
Wynnne Clark1st gentlewoman

Additional Details

Theatre
Old Vic Theatre
Theatre company
National Theatre Company
Production type
Other
Plays
Hamlet
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Notes

History
The opening play by the National Theatre Company staged at the Old Vic. This was the first stage recording to be recorded by the British Library Sound Archive, then the British Institute of Recorded Sound, in its live drama series.
Reviews
Daily Sketch, 23 Oct 1963.
`Trying hard not to be grossly hysterical - I clapped critic’s non-flappable hands. Containing myself with sober words - magnificent, beautiful, triumphant, noble. Pretending indifference to gorgeous acting, the like of which I’ve rarely seen. Ignoring the Sean Kenny sets - a blinding piece of revolving poetic engineering. Hardly giving credit to Sir Laurence Olivier’s brilliantly sane and madly lovely interpretation of this (until today) almost impossible play...let me, after five hours, loudly and hoarsely sweet praise for this great Hamlet by Peter O’Toole’.

Sunday Telegraph 27 Oct 1963:
...Devastatingly attractive to women, a natural leader of men, the most brilliant brain of the year at Wittenberg University - if such a man can make a mess of his life, who can blame us for not fulfilling our early promise? Hamlet is the most famous excuse in literature for failure’.
[Both quotations from reviews on the National Theatre website accessed 1/2008].

Archive

Name

British Library Sound Archive

Email
listening@bl.uk
Web
http://www.bl.uk/nsa External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7412 7676
Fax
020 7412 7441
Address
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB

Record Stats

This record has been viewed 3960 times.