19 March 2010
It’s a rare occurrence when two of my great loves come together: Television and Shakespeare. The best example is the comedy Slings &Arrows, about the antics of a Canadian Shakespeare company. PBS airing Ian McKellan’s King Lear as part of their “Great Performances” series and his subsequent Emmy nomination is another wonderful example. When Hey Arnold did Romeo & Juliet, when Mr. Feeney taught Hamlet or when President Bartlett went to see The War of the Roses I was similarly thrilled.
This week’s Saturday Night Live monologue by Jude Law played right into my anxiously awaiting hands as he recapped his days on Broadway as Hamlet. In perfectly timed, brilliantly satirical, theatrical in-jokey fashion, Law delivered a hilarious monologue that both showed off his comedic chops and gave the audience a glimpse of his potential in the world’s most famous role as he spouted the first few lines of 3.1’s “To Be or Not To Be” soliloquy.
See the video above for the full performance. My personal favourite moments included:
“Hamlet rails against his mother ‘frailty thy name is woman’ he says, plus many other lines that are less famous and harder to memorize”
“I come back onstage and Ophelia’s dead, don’t know what happened there, I never watched act four”