To be or not to be our favourite cast for play?

By Charlotte Hofton

Friday, January 11, 2013

 

THE VIEW FROM HERE

I AM enormously excited by the possibility of Island-born film director Suri Krisnamma using the Frank James Hospital and Carisbrooke Priory as composite locations for his screen adaptation of Hamlet.

Furthermore, he has promised to bring "a top-notch clutch of stars" to the Island for the project and there’s nothing we like more than top-notch clutches, particularly starry ones. 

However, the director says he, is at present, unable to name anybody in the clutch. 

I hope he’s not toying with us and has got a proper big banana for his Hamlet.  We require Daniel Craig, Suri, not some bit player from Emmerdale. And we want a decent Ophelia, too. 

Try Nadine Dorries, why don’t you? She’d be terrifically good on the publicity front.

OK, that’s the two leads sorted out. Then I suggest Miranda Hart, latest national treasure, for the part of Hamlet’s mum, Gertrude, and the chap they killed off in Downton Abbey, Dan Whatsit, who played Matthew Thingie and is now conveniently at a loose end, as her hubbie. 

Judi Dench must be in it, too, because she always is, though as there are no more female parts, she’ll have to be the ghost of Hamlet’s father. She’s got quite a deep voice and with a white sheet thrown over her, nobody will know the difference. 

I think, too, it would be nice if Suri employed some Island talent. Filming is unlikely to start until after the council elections, which means George Brown, soon to relinquish his post as County Hall’s official wiseacre, will be available and just perfect for the part of the finickety old codger, Polonius. 

You don’t mind being stabbed through the arras, do you, George? You should be used to murderous cuts after your time with the council. 

The first two councillors to lose their seats can be the clowns and perhaps we might reprise Alan Titchmarsh as the grave-digger. 

Oh, and we need Clare Balding, obviously. She’s so versatile, I’m sure she could do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern simultaneously and maybe also ramble around the ramparts at Elsinore in those bits where everyone’s marching up and down on the hunt for Judi Dench. 

It’s already starting to look good, isn’t it? 

But it needs something extra in order for the Island to win real acclaim. 

Can’t we tweak our Hamlet into something rather more daring than the usual productions? After all, this play has been done billions of times and you’ve got to think outside the box to be noticed.

And what I’m thinking is this. One of our precious Island celebs is Ray Allen, creator of Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em, which just happens to be the perfect strapline for Hamlet. 

Let’s get Ray to jolly up what is really quite a depressing play with some knockabout lines for Hamlet who, let’s face it, is as disastrous as Frank Spencer. 

I can just hear Daniel Craig wailing "Oooh, Gertie!" to Miranda Hart as he inadvertently stabs George Brown through the arras.

Then there are the exciting possibilities of the Frank James Hospital and Carisbrooke Priory. 

We could mash up Hamlet with Carry on Nurse and The Sound of Music. Clare Balding, when she’s not being Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and rambling round the ramparts, can play Matron in Hattie Jacques style before donning a wimple and dancing about just like Julie Andrews. 

How do you solve a problem like Hamlet? 

Easy-peasy. Just follow my instructions, Suri, and you will have what Osric (and I recommend Brad Pitt for this role) describes in the final scene of the play as "A hit, a very palpable hit".

The style’s the thing, with rules

It will be especially pleasing to have Dan Stevens, late of Downton Abbey, in our Hamlet film, because he’s just been named as Britain’s best-dressed man and so will look very good in all the pics the CP will be taking of him as he goes around the Island, spending money in our shops and enjoying a Minghella ice cream.

Even so, I am not convinced by the concept of this annual list drawn up by GQ magazine of best-dressed men. 
Do these blokes achieve this status by making a conscious effort to look natty? To my mind, there’s something not quite right about this, just as there’s something not quite right about men who push trollies in supermarkets. Some men achieve effortless style by just popping on whatever seems appropriate for the weather and not fretting about the width of their lapels. 

Unfortunately, this technique doesn’t work for every chap, so here are the basic rules. 

Be relaxed by all means but avoid Lycra (why is Bradley Wiggins on GQ’s list, pray? Lycra and sideburns, double ugh), brown suits, football strips and, most crucially, anything shiny that clings to your bits and which you erroneously suppose makes you look sexy.

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