Definitely warmed to Benedict Cumberbatch's Prince Hamlet on second viewing. First time around he felt a little out of joint with the rest of the cast but with a few more performances completed (and those pesky video incidents in the past) the company and production is starting to gel nicely.
The biggest change to be made since the early previews is moving 'To be or not to be.." from the opening speech to the middle of his feigned madness episode. I liked it at the beginning but it does work really well in its new slot giving Hamlet a moment of brooding introspection amid his rather eccentric behaviour - more madcap that mad I would say.
Now the play starts with Hamlet's exercise of quiet reflection interrupted by the return of Horatio (Leo Bill). It immediately establishes him as a person who has friends, someone who is liked. When the scene then moves to his mother's wedding reception he shares a moment with Ophelia adding another to the list of his fans.
BC's Hamlet feels slightly volatile but self aware and trying to keep it in check. He is definitely a Hamlet with flaws: his ego surfaces occasionally, he can be petulant and contemptuous - he's very human in that respect. He isn't wholly likeable but he carried my emotion more readily this time partly because his inner struggles were more visible. It makes the question of his madness more ambiguous. Is he genuinely losing his marbles but having moments of lucidness? There is a moment when he seems to see his own death and becomes resigned to it.