Thursday, 11 December 2008

Backlash at Tennant's Back Pain

Doctor Who star David Tennant, who is currently performing as Hamlet, has been unable to perform for the past few days.

His part is currently being played by his understudy, Edward Bennett, as Tennant is out with a back injury.

Most of the reviews of his performance have been positive, and according to BBC News, he recieved a standing ovation.

The show's director Gregory Doran spoke about Tennant missing the performance, saying that the actor was very upset at not being able to perform.

"Before this injury, he has only ever been off for one performance in his entire career to date, and is hoping that he will be able to return to the show as quickly as possible".

Well Recieved

The play has moved from it's run in Stratford-Upon-Avon to London, and is showing at the Novello Theatre.

Monday was the first run in Hamlet's shoes for Edward Bennett, but it was Tuesday night's performance that mattered most.

This was press night; a night of critics followed by a morning of reviews. It seems he had nothing to worry however, and The Guardian was just one of the positive reviews he recieved.

He had originally been playing Laertes, a smaller part which involves a fight scene with Hamlet. With Tennant out, the whole cast was moved around to accomodate the new protagonist.

Tennant Backlash

What was most striking about the reports of the change, was the way in which many papers took the opportunity to strike at David Tennant.

The Telegraph ran with the headline that Tennant had dissapointed theatregoers, instead of concentrating on the success of the understudy.

The success of the play had been sold on the fact that the Doctor Who star was taking the lead role, but it is a notable achievement to find an understudy who still recieves an ovation despite the Tennant fans in the audience.

It seemed to be suggested that Tennant - who never missed a night in 60 performances while in Stratford - was letting audiences down.

He had taken a year off from acting in Doctor Who to concentrate fully on the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Hamlet.

He has already released a statement saying that after surgery, he hopes to return to the show as soon as possible.

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