The shameless Ben Whishaw birthday post - my favourite stage performances
Shh, it's a rainy Sunday afternoon... it's Ben Whishaw's birthday so in 'celebration' here are the stage performances of his that are my favourites.
Hamlet, Old Vic
Ok so technically I didn't see him perform it live but I have seen the V&A video recording a couple of times.
His Hamlet made so much sense. He was young, clever, inexperienced, fragile and at times immature and petulant.
Basically, he was a young adult thrown into an extraordinary situation and ill-equipped to cope.
And he snot cried.
The full review is here which also includes links to related interviews and other tidbits.
Baby in Mojo, Comedy Theatre - now the Harold Pinter
Don't ask how many times I saw this, it was a lot.
It was a move away from the sensitive souls he's very adept at playing, something more akin to Sidney in the film Layer Cake.
And I liked that, I like to see his versatility, his wilder performance side.
While underneath the surface there is a tragedy to Baby, he presents as someone wildly unpredictable and is dangerous as a result.
He also did a brilliant dance which was a mix of impish, wild abandon and menace.
John Procter in The Crucible, Walter Kerr Theater
Director Ivo Van Hove cast against type, normally John Proctor is a more manly man but Ben played him with a gentle, sensitive, caring edge that made the story all the more tragic.
It was a production that drew gasps from the audience and not just for having a 'wolf' cross the stage.
Dionysus in Bakkhai - Almeida Theatre
Sexually charged, seductive, flirtatious and dangerous - this was Ben playing the god of wine and carousing.
Encouraging freedom and celebration - but at a price. I can still vividly picture his stage entrance.
Full description of his performance in my review here.
Just in case you were wondering, I've seen him in 12 different plays - I missed The Seagull and Mercury Fur early in his career, I'd particularly have like to have seen the latter.
It's a great play - I'm a huge fan of Philip Ridley's writing and his penchant for the grubbier side of humanity.