Maxine Peake as Hamlet – recommended viewing?

According to Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian, the film of Maxine Peake’s turn as Hamlet is the film you should be watching this week.

Not to show off or anything, but I’ve seen the original stage production of this at the Royal Exchange in Manchester, and I’m not so sure.

I had no problem with Maxine Peake’s performance in the role, but unlike Peter Bradshaw, I didn’t feel like the staging or casting brought anything different to the play. It’s difficult to explain why (I’m not a film or stage director so I don’t really know what I would do instead), but I left with feeling that, if you’re going to make a thing about casting a woman in the role and making other cast/character alterations too, then you should have something more to say with the themes of a 400 year old play.

Maybe the film version will bring this out more – if you see it, let me know what you thought.

I’m not going.


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