Inevitably, given the debate about 'celebrity casting' they mentioned David Tennant's recent take on the role. (I'm personally of the opinion you have to take each Hamlet on their own terms, more or less. Case in point: the brilliance - and difference - of Ed Bennett as Hamlet last winter).
But what's this the Saturday Review team say? [I think this is correct from listening back to the iPlayer]
"... if only David Tennant hadn't done his brief series of appearances as Hamlet at the start of the year then everyone would be able to see what a brilliant Hamlet he [Jude Law] is..."WHAT?!!! WHAT????!!!!
I'm sorry but I rather lost the plot at that point and spent much of the remainder of the review shouting at the radio - because at no point was it obvious that the criteria by which they were reviewing Law's Hamlet was that of performing in London. Front Row -- Saturday Review's weekday sibling -- had quite happily reviewed the RSC Stratford production of Hamlet AND then the London run (with Bennett having taken over from Press Night onwards until that fateful Saturday when
Gah. Must learn to not get so agitated.
Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly happy to accept reviews make comparisons between performances, but they surely have to acknowledge some level of context and for me this came dangerously close to a mean-spirited distortion of theatre history. I get the point (grumble grumble nonetheless) that the Olivier Awards are about London stage performances and that by virtue of his absence after the preview performances until the final week of the run, Tennant could not be considered for that award's glory. But reviewing is another matter entirely: all they had to do to make their comments last night legitimate (if remaining narrow-minded) was to add in the phrase "in London" (so it would remarked on Tennant's "brief series of of appearances as Hamlet in London at the start of the year..." and I would have been mollified.
* I could cope with Gattaca - good film, Ethan Hawke for the 'pretty' appealing to me; and I thought Law gamely sent up his own shallowness in I Heart Huckabees. Otherwise: mostly meh.