Last night we went to see Hamlet.
The adventure began with a hurried attempt to guzzle down some hot tomato soup and eat a few peanut butter and honey glazed bagels (you knew I had to work in the food there somewhere, didn’t you :)). We had to be at the National Theatre at seven o’clock sharp (which, leaving at six fifteen, we thought we could).
We took the Tube (London’s version of a subway in the US) to get there, which was in itself quite an interesting experience. Though I did not hear “Mind The Gap” (as was foretold me by Stan Bowen) I did hear a nice pleasing automated British woman’s voice say “mind the doors” as they closed on me, nearly pinning me getting onto the train. I thought to myself: What a way to go, caught in the Tube train 400 feet under the earth in London.
After changing a few times, getting run-over by more people, and nearly getting on the wrong train, we finally arrived at Waterloo station, and hustled up and out of the depths of the earth to try to make it to the Theatre on time. We didn’t.
We were about 10 minutes late and had to wait until half-way through the first act before entering and being seated.
The show itself was exceptional, especially in lighting, staging and (of course) acting. It was a compelling representation, with a bit more humor and less “pomp” (i.e. extravagence) than is traditionally presented in other productions of Hamlet.
One of my favourite lines is spoken by Gertrude to Hamlet just before (or after? can’t remember) he kills Polonius: “Words are made of Breath, and Breath of Life. I haven’t Life enough to give thee words.” or something to that effect.