Saturday, October 20, 2007

Kenneth Branagh on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

By sheer happenstance, I turned on Craig Ferguson tonight to find the first guest was to be Kenneth Branagh, one of the foremost Shakespearean actors of our time. I used to have a bit of a (huge) crush on him — Branagh's Henry V is still, I think, the best Shakespeare adaptation for the big screen (the BBC King Lear with Sir Ian Holm holding the top position for the small screen), followed closely by Branagh's Much Ado. I thought Branagh's Hamlet was excellent, but it suffered from a few problems. Yes, I was absolutely in the audience when Branagh bared all at the National Theatre's production of Mamet's Edmond in London in 2003. But enough of my Branagh obsession.

Branagh is in the US promoting his latest film as a director: Sleuth, starring Michael Caine and Jude Law. The clip was brilliant and I can't wait to see the film, which opened in limited release last Friday. And guess what Ken (or "Kenny, Ken, Ken" as one of my teachers at RADA used to call him) revealed? In 18 months, he will be directing Jude Law in Hamlet for the stage! I have full faith that Branagh's production will be fantastic (it is, after all, his 6th time on the play), but I'm not entirely convinced that Jude Law can pull it off. What do you think?

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