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Picture of the Month - September 2012

Malcolm Davies captures perfectly the humour, wit, and intelligence which David Tennant brought to his portrayal of the role of the student prince, Hamlet.

Helen Hargest
David Tennant as Hamlet
The humour, wit, and intelligence of David Tennant as Hamlet in 2008.

On 14th September 2012, Gregory Doran became the sixth Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He first joined the RSC as a member of the acting company in the 1987 season, and to date, he has directed more than half of Shakespeare’s plays, in addition to writing books, and involvement in other projects outside the RSC. In 2008, he directed a star studded cast in an extremely well received production of Hamlet, which opened at the Courtyard Theatre before transferring to London. The following year he directed a film version of his production with the same cast, which included David Tennant, Patrick Stewart, Penny Downie, Oliver Ford-Davies and John Woodvine. “...One of the most richly textured, best acted versions of the play we have seen in years” wrote Michael Billington in The Guardian.

I have selected an image from this memorable production for September’s Picture of the Month, in celebration of Gregory Doran taking over the helm at the RSC. Malcolm Davies, the Trust’s photographer, captured perfectly the humour, wit and intelligence which David Tennant brought to his portrayal of the role of the student prince, and it is one of my favourite photographs in our collection. As Paul Taylor wrote in the Independent in August 2008, “[Tennant] excels when the prince becomes a prankish provocateur. A lanky live-wire with a wry twist to the mouth and mocking brows, he puts on a thrillingly risky display of barbed levity and flippant sarcasm.”