I took my kids (as in 1990, some twenty-odd years back, they were still were kids) to see Hamlet at a Newcastle cinema. There was a ‘full house’ with many seats occupied by teenaged girls along with a fair sprinkling of boys of a similar age, but with the lead role in Hamlet being taken by the young(ish) Mel Gibson, the Aussie and Hollywood star; this was to be expected. I accompanied my kids not because of Gibson’s presence, but mainly because of the need to see yet another of England’s playwriting genius’ works brought to the screen.
So, in the days before ‘smart’ phones had even been invented, I was still a mite curious as to how one of the great plays of England’s past would be accepted by a restless teen-aged audience, most of whom had probably never even heard of William Shakespeare, and even less of the majesty of his plays.
But I was left astonished at the silence given this story of deceit, betrayal, murder and revenge. This largely teenaged audience remained entranced as the Danish Prince, at first devastated by his father’s death, and the suspiciously early remarriage of his mother to his uncle, who had claimed the throne on the death of his brother; began to plot his revenge under a cloak of seeming lunacy. There was no whispering, no laughter, no testosterone-fuelled uproar from the rear seats; just a silent acceptance that they, the youngsters in the audience, were in the presence of a masterpiece.
Which is why I reckon that this bloody idiot ought to be placed against a convenient wall, and silenced before she contaminates any more young minds with the dross she preaches.