Wednesday, July 18, 2012

III.ii. Critical Reception - Slings & Arrows

The only part of the sequence that makes it into the performance montage is the soliloquy, but we don't see it. Instead, we're with the play's director, Geoffrey Tennant (Paul Gross), mouthing the words backstage, praying to the Shakespearean gods for a good outcome. In the show, he was a much-praised Hamlet until he cracked on stage, and the "witching hour" in terms of that story is when he must redeem himself and walk back from that disaster (through a proxy). As the soliloquy ends, he signals the number of soliloquies to the actress playing Gertrude, a countdown that refers to the five key moments an actor must nail as he gets through the play, something he told "Jack Crew" to reassure him that this performance was possible. In relating it to the play, it refers to Hamlet's delay of the action, a self-imposed countdown that creates the tension in the play. Hamlet is a time-bomb, each soliloquy counted down a means to talk himself into taking action. By the end, when all soliloquies are done, words turn to action, and the dialog shrinks until the rest is, indeed, silence.

No comments: