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Friday, 5 June 2009

image for 'Dr Hamlet and the Daleks' opens in London to rave reviews
The Prince of Denmark, formerly known as a serious, tragic figure

In a radical reworking of Shakespeare's play Hamlet, theatre director Sir Henry Dumdowne cast television actor Jude Tennant as Hamlet, and added a more modern touch to the tragedy about the Prince of Denmark.

Hamlet now speaks his famous 'To Be Or Not To Be' speech to three Daleks, while those famously evil killing machines continually interrupt him with shouts of 'Exterminate!' and 'You Will Obey!, and during his rendition of 'Alas Poor Yorick ...' one Dalek fires a stream of gas at Hamlet, causing him to finish his speech with a gasmask on.

One reviewer said: 'Tennant is quite magnificently magnifique, his utterance portrays the indeterminate wiles and confusions of the tormented Prince, while doing a pretty good triple back flip to avoid getting zapped by a passing Cyberman.'

Another said: 'To ham or not to ham, that is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to face the slings of arrows of outrageous wotsit, or to face a sea of Daleks chasing you down Pall Mall, without a Lumley to do a bit of kung fu to save you.'

Sir Henry said he was very pleased by Tennant's performance. 'He sums up the inner turmoil of Hamlet, the clash between portraying one of the most complex characters in literary history, and portraying a scarf-wearing git with no real taste in female assistants, and one that's lucky to never have been arrested for hanging around phone boxes at night.'

And Tennant's co-star, Penelope Wilton, added: 'In all the versions of Hamlet I've appeared in, the Prince has usually been a very disturbed youngish man, continually fighting against fate and treachery.'

'In this version, of course, Sir Henry decided to make Hamlet seem like a little boy who hasn't started shaving yet, and one that millions of television viewers instantly recognise as a typecast, time-travelling, cartoonish saviour, it ain't exactly Olivier, is it?'

What next - Vera Duckworth as Gertrude, Albert Tatlock as Polonius, Paul Gascoigne and Vinnie Jones as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and the Milky Bar Kid as Hamlet? 'That might be a tad ridiculous', Sir Henry pointed out, 'but an all-animal cast for Macbeth is my next project, though it'll need some hard work to train a hamster to do its lines as that king. Especially in a Scottish accent.'

'Is this a hamster I see before me?', MacBeth himself said, in darkest Perthshire. 'No!', some passing Daleks shouted back at him, 'we exterminated all the hamsters!' Banquo was unavailable for comment.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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