Darrin and I almost managed to forget about the tickets we bought two months ago to see our man Benedict Cumberbatch perform as Hamlet for the National Live Theatre. Have you heard of the National Live Theatre? I’m convinced this organization had poor graduate students like me in mind when they started broadcasting live tapings of some brilliant London stage productions. Luckily Hamlet was showing at our little cinema down the street, so, thanks to the event reminder I had set on my phone, we turned our Monday night into a Shakespeare date night and walked to the show.
We nestled into our movie theatre seats, feeling somewhat strange about sipping a large Diet Coke and sharing a bucket of popcorn at a theatrical production, and watched Cumberbatch and cast speak Elizabethan English for 4 hours as they brought Shakespeare’s tragic world to life. And my goodness was the show awesome and beautiful and true. We left both wanting to discuss the production and feeling somewhat compelled to discuss the production. As if ignoring certain scenes or moments or lines would have been a disservice to our memory of them. Some plays just demand to be acknowledged, you know? Even after the curtains close or you shut your script. We walked home just before midnight talking and wondering about the rotten state of Denmark.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Darrin and I have encountered Hamlet on the stage. But this IS the first time we’ve seen Hamlet performed in English. And not as an opera. So that was new.
[Throwback to that time we spontaneously bought tickets to Hamlet as a French opera and spent our Saturday afternoon with a massive crowd of aged 60+ opera-goers. Good times. We’re just sooo cultured. #eyeroll]
So date night that almost wasn’t a date night was an ultimate success. We both got to see Cumberbatch sweat like a crazy person onstage, Darrin brought home a big bucket of popcorn, and I feel asleep thankful for a husband who is willing and eager to spend some time with England’s favorite playwright. A win-win-WIN.