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Hamlets young and old or have the Young Vic and Globe got it the wrong way around

File It wouldn't be a year of theatre-going without at least one Hamlet. Last year there were two: John Simm's OK performance and Rory Kinnear's fantastically paced delivery.

And this year I thought the Hamlet excitement would revolve solely around Michael Sheen's interpretation at the Young Vic. He's a great actor and I'm excited about seeing him on stage in such an intimate theatre more than him actually playing Hamlet. At 42 I think he's pushing the upper age-limit of the character but then I do have a preference for younger danes.

So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that The Globe is putting on Hamlet and titular role is being played by Joshua McGuire, described on his agent's website as having an acting age of 16-25 years. I've seen him on stage before at the Royal Court in Posh (pictured left) which was an all round good production.

The Globe has decided to pare down Shakespeare's most famous play to two and a half hours and promises:

"a handful of players will perform a raw, thrillingly elemental production of this inexhaustible play."

It strikes me as ironic that these aren't the words being used to describe the Young Vic's production. After all wouldn't a young Hamlet be more fitting for a theatre that prides itself on championing the young in the industry and being accessible to all? Surely the younger audience the cheap prices attract would identify and engage better with a peer than someone the wrong side of forty agonising and prevaricating?

The RSC proved you can do a fresh, lively and accessible production with David Tennant in the lead and Ian Rickson is directing at the Young Vic so I'm not worried in the least, I'm just more excited about The Globe's.

Related links

Guardian interview with Ian Rickson