Alas poor Daleks, I knew them well before Hamlet
LONDON (Reuters Life!) - David Tennant, who captivated millions of sci-fi fans as the Dalek-battling Doctor Who, has been wowing British theatre critics with his Hamlet.
"From Time Lord to antic prince: David Tennant is the best Hamlet in years" gushed a headline in the Guardian newspaper, while both the Times and the Independent pictured the Scottish actor on their front pages.
Media attention has been focused on Tennant's starring role in William Shakespeare's classic play at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, especially after the Royal Shakespeare Company said it wouldn't allow him to sign sci-fi memorabilia.
The fact the play also features Patrick Stewart, best known as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in "Star Trek: the Next Generation", had prompted concern the casting was simply about giving the production a celebrity edge to boost ticket sales.
But critics have been united in their approval.
"Casting Tennant was far from a cynical ploy," the Daily Telegraph said.
The Times opined: "Gregory Doran's fluent pacey, modern-dress revival of Hamlet gives Tennant the chance to show the world that he has the range to tackle the most demanding classical role of all -- and, praise be, he seizes it."
While all agreed Tennant was not quite the greatest performance of Hamlet ever witnessed, he was not far behind.
And his captivating display might not just have the effect of getting children interested in the works of England's best-loved playwright.
"You never know -- this Hamlet might switch some Shakespeare buffs on to Doctor Who," mused the Independent.
(Reporting by Michael Holden)
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