From its sell-out run at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre comes a film version of this unique and critically acclaimed production of Hamlet with BAFTA-nominee Maxine Peake in the title role. This ground-breaking stage production, directed by Sarah Frankcom, was the Royal Exchange's fastest-selling show in a decade.
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Shakespeare's most iconic work, "Hamlet" explodes with big ideas and is the ultimate story of loyalty, love, betrayal, murder and madness. Hamlet's father is dead and Denmark has crowned Hamlet's uncle the new king. Consumed by grief, Hamlet struggles to exact revenge, with devastating consequences.
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It's not so uncommon to see 'tour de force' performances on screen because cinema and TV affords the actor the physical space and respite to tear the arse out of a performance. It's a one off and retakes allow them to experiment and finesse the part and to build in nuances.nnBut of course the stage has many 'tour de force's' to reference, Olivier springs to mind in the Shakespearian silo, but they are fewer in number and elitist in observation.nnNevertheless, in the digital cinema world, to that august canon must be added Maxine Peake's Hamlet.nnLet's ignore the gender issue here. It's a red herring. The fact is that Peake is, by anyone's measure, slight.nnAnd yet the sheer energy she exudes performance after performance is ant like in its ability to punch above its physical weight.nnHer skill is to mesmerisingly tic and twitch her way through a descent into moral madness. It's very compelling indeed.nnAnd yet her slightness brings with it a vulnerability that really draws you in. Captured on the big screen it only serves to emphasise the greatness of this performance at the Royal Exchange Theatre during last year's Manchester International Festival.nnIf you get a chance to see one of these 'live' theatre screening jump at the opportunity. You will thank me.
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