LONDON (Reuters) - Having captivated millions of children and TV viewers battling Daleks as Doctor Who, David Tennant has now wowed theatre critics after returning to the stage to perform as Hamlet.
“From Time Lord to antic prince: David Tennant is the best Hamlet in years” gushed the headline in the Guardian, while both the Times and the Independent pictured the actor on their front pages.
Much media attention has been focused on Tennant’s starring role in the Shakespeare classic 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 the critics were 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