David Tennant makes a ‘good, not great’ Hamlet

Doctor Who star David Tennant finally made his debut as Hamlet in a Royal Shakespeare Company production on Tuesday, and the critics have declared him a good, if not great, Dane.

The actor, 37, appears in the title role of a young Danish prince haunted by his father’s ghost and driven to the edge of madness in his obsession to avenge his death.

While some critics made barbed comments about theatre companies using big names to fill seats, Tennant’s performance in the role was praised, with a few reservations.

The actor performed in the RSC’s production at The Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, where the production will stay until the middle of November before moving to the Novello Theatre in London from December to January.

The Guardian calls David the ‘best Hamlet in years’ while the Independent says he ‘excels as the wry, prankish provocateur’.

The Express gave the performance three stars and labelled it ‘slightly surreal’ and Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail says Tennant takes on ‘one of the English language’s most demanding roles – and survives’.

Michael Billington writes in the Guardian: “He is a fine Hamlet whose virtues, and occasional vices, are inseparable from the production itself.”

Giving the production four stars, he says this is a Hamlet of

quicksilver intelligence, mimetic vigour and wild humour

calling David an ‘active, athletic, immensely engaging Hamlet’.