Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Tale of Two Hamlets

Richard Burton and John Gielgud
The young Richard Burton did credit to himself as Hamlet on the British stage in 1953, being described as a “moody, virile and baleful” prince with “dash, attack and verve.”
Winston Churchill saw it, muttered the lines along with Burton during the performance and then came backstage to Burton’s dressing room to ask, “My Lord Hamlet, may I use your facilities?”
Another celebrated Hamlet, Burton’s friend John Gielgud, also saw the performance, and was drily unimpressed.
Biographer Melvyn Bragg wrote, “After he had seen it, he came around to Richard’s dressing room to take him to dinner and, observing he was beset by visitors, said, ‘Shall I go ahead or wait until you’re better — I mean, ready?’ Burton loved to re-tell that story.”

No comments:

Post a Comment