Just seen this little piece by Sebastian Shakespeare in the Evening Standard tagged onto the bottom of some briefs:
Michael Sheen's acclaimed Hamlet offers eloquent reproof to Uncle Monty's self-pitying refrain in Withnail & I: "It is the most shattering experience of a young man's life, when one morning he awakes, and quite reasonably says to himself, I will never play the Dane." Sheen, aged 42, is not by stretch of reason or imagination a young man.
There has been a fashion for older Hamlets in recent years, with Jude Law, David Tennant and Rory Kinnear taking to the stage. Sheen is a fine actor but I'm not sure how I will be able to suspend enough disbelief to imagine him as a youth. The best Hamlet I've seen was 22-year-old Ben Whishaw in Trevor Nunn's 2004 production. It was an utterly compelling performance and he spoke every word with clarity, conviction and feeling, as if he were uttering it for the first time. Whishaw had youth on his side, Sheen has experience. May the best man/boy win.
Although I must add that having recently seen Sheen's Hamlet, the off-the-wall production completely distracted me from my usual obsession with the age of Hamlet (I'm sure @glenpearce1 won't believe me).
Naturally I agree with his comment about Mr W and not just because he's my favourite actor. When I saw a recording of his Hamlet it was like the play finally clicked into place, in fact I called it my hallelujah moment.