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Hamlet’s Tennant and Stewart Won’t Sign Your SF Stuff

July 25, 2008

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Leave your Sharpies and 8×10 glossies at home, trekkies, because The Royal Shakespeare Company just released a statement regarding the production of “Hamlet” starring “Star Trek: The Next Generation’s” Patrick Stewart and “Doctor Who’s” David Tennant today, stating that fans will not be allowed to bring any Dr. Who or Star Trek memorabilia to be autographed.

Due to the huge amount of interest in the RSC’s current production of Hamlet, only Royal Shakespeare Company or production related memorabilia will be signed by members of the company. It is very flattering that there is so much interest in this production, but the sheer volume of requests means that we need to set some limits which will be as fair as possible for everyone. We apologize if this causes any disappointment.

This news will no doubt break the hearts of trekkies and “Doctor Who” fans making it out to this year’s performance of “Hamlet,” but let’s examine the 320x240facts. There is a time and a place to dress in your finest Starfleet uniforms; classical theater is not that time. I’m sure the performers would prefer fans to go and appreciate their new roles and enjoy Shakespeare, rather than just be there to see a character they’ve played in the past.

On the flip side, I am not entirely sure that RSC handled the heartbreak in the classiest of manners.

It is one thing to ban autograph requests entirely for logistical reasons. The same as it makes sense to limit autograph requests to 1 per person. Or if the actors themselves choose not to sign the memorabilia for whatever reason.

But the facts are, there’s no real difference between autographing a play brochure or signing a Star Trek TNG Picard as Locutus action figure, so the statement is more insulting than it ever should have been. How about you just say you want to keep the focus on actors and get your action figures signed at San Diego’s Comic-Con?

— Christie St. Martin of Funny Pages 2.0

Photo Credits: “Doctor Who,” BBC; “Star Trek: Enterprise,” CBS Studios Inc.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Angel permalink
    July 28, 2008 5:57 pm

    I chose to holiday in the UK this year, specifically Stratford Upon Avon and travelled up to Stratford with the express purpose of seeing as many productions at the RSC as possible during my 12 days up there. I had pre-booked tickets for Midsummer Night’s Dream but hadn’t managed to book tickets for anything else. Luckily, however, I got returns for both Merchant of Venice AND Hamlet (which required queuing from 7 am outside the theatre the day of the performances). I managed to get all three programmes signed by various members of the casts including Messrs Tennant and Stewart although a lot of the cast were scared off by the crowds waiting for DT and PS. As to sniffy critics looking down their noses at the choice of leads, what people tend to forget is that both the “big name celebrities” started as jobbing actors at the RSC and have as much right as any other actor to star in their productions. Mind you, at one point I wished fervently that they weren’t in the production as I was desperate to see Hamlet but was not very hopeful of getting tickets. Saying that, they were both brilliant in their roles as were the majority of other actors, including those playing Ophelia, Gertrude, the Player King and, in particular, Polonius. PS – word to the money grabbing ticket touts – some of us paid the going RSC rate for tickets because we were prepared to get our butts out of bed early and queue for returns – if people weren’t so desperate to buy the inflated price tickets there wouldn’t be a black market and the world would be a better place. If you can, try for tickets – go holiday in Stratford and QUEUE rather than buy the tickets off ebay which are, according to the contract between ticket buyer and the RSC, “void” if sold on for profit – the RSC have the seat numbers so beware ticket tout purchases.

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