8

David Tennant as Romeo in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet (2000) - Part 3

Excerpts from a Scotland on Sunday article on David at the RSC in 2000

“He is perfect casting, because of the intensity he brings to his work,“ Michael Boyd says.  While Tennant’s great friend and former landlady, the comic performer and author of Does My Bum Look Big in This?, Arabella Weir, says: "He’s astonishingly focused for his age and amazingly straightforward and honest. He’s trustworthy and he’s honourable.”

There is still something uncynical and unspoilt about him, though. He confesses that being with the RSC can be scary. “Not only because you are in the home of ‘world class classical theatre’ (as all the brochures tell you), but these big Shakespearean roles come with a lot of historical baggage attached. People tell you how romantic Ian McKellen was as Romeo, or how masculine Sean Bean was, or how marvellous Laurence Olivier was. You feel the weight of all those ghosts, those performances that have taken on a mystical resonance. And because it’s Shakespeare, you feel it’s hard to make it believable, because it is so beautiful.  With this play, everyone has so many ideas about it, that you almost want to play against the beauty. We did the balcony scene the other day and I was doing: 'But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!’ And I was going: 'How can I say that?’ It is beyond parody, but all you can do is be personal with it and make it your own, if that doesn’t sound too pretentious. I know that’s how Alex [who plays Juliet] feels about famous lines like, 'Parting is such sweet sorrow’.”   

The intensity of the rollercoaster he is on is overwhelming. Stratford is a grueling, sometimes stifling, hothouse. Rehearsal followed by show, followed by rehearsal, in one long punishing schedule. After one-and-a-half hours in the rehearsal room, there is just time for a snack  before voice warm-ups for the matinee of The Rivals. There, Tennant’s rapier-thin young blade gets involved in sword fights and various cunning derring-do disguises, then he is off again for lunch. And back on again, for The Comedy of Errors. A short show, but a physical one, as Tennant slides down those banisters, executes pratfalls and turns in a brilliantly funny double act with Ian Hughes, who plays his manservant, Dromio. He also does the neatly witty trick of lighting two post-coital cigarettes after seducing his long lost twin’s wife and then buries his head in Nina Conti’s cleavage.

Later Tennant is in his dressing-room, stripped to the waist, slapping Simple moisturizer onto his face, swigging pints of mineral water, and packing up his make-up box, an old-fashioned leather bowling case. As we leave, we trip up over a bloody but unbowed Hotspur, about to go on stage and die in Henry IV, Part 1. Falstaff is plumped in the corner and wishes us a courteous good night, while various make-up girls daub elderly knights. “It’s like this every night at this time,” says Tennant. “You can’t move for men in armour and there’s blood everywhere.”    

Photo credits include:  Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, photostage.co.uk, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and more 

Other parts of this Romeo photoset [ Part 1 ]  [ Part 2 ]

bbc.co.uk
David Tennant, second novels, Brits and Oscars - who are they for?, Front Row - BBC Radio 4
David Tennant on Broadchurch, Britain's favourite second novel and are awards irrelevant?

Hardy: You gave her your number?!
Ellie: Oh, don’t start.
Hardy: Your personal number!
Ellie: Yes, I did!
Hardy: What have I told you?!
Ellie: She needed it!
Hardy: Every time, Miller!
Ellie: Pardon me for being human.
Hardy: We investigate, support services support.
Ellie: Support services aren’t there yet!
Hardy: You can’t keep doing this.
Ellie: Once before!
Hardy: Twice before!
Ellie: Oh, now you’re keeping count?
Hardy: Yes.
Ellie: If I’m so annoying why did you come back?
Hardy: Oh, don’t start!
Ellie: Always having a problem.
Hardy: There’s a protocol.
Ellie: I did not miss this, you know, when you weren’t here, the constant berating.
Hardy: She can’t be ringing you all the time.
Ellie: She’s been raped!

3

David Tennant Presents An Award At Tonight’s BRITS 

David Tennant was a surprise host at the BRIT Awards which are being held at the O2 Arena in London this evening. David was on hand to present fellow Scot Emeli Sandé with the award for Best British Solo Artist.

Okay all you DT Fanatics! It’s time to get your Shakespeare on. Come join us for a fun, laugh out loud experience with a group watch of Much Ado About Nothing.

David Tennant and Catherine Tate star as reluctant lovers Benedick and Beatrice in Shakespeare’s timeless comedy Much Ado About Nothing.

Synopsis: Two young lovers, Claudio and Hero, are to be married imminently but the devious scheming of a resentful Prince looks set to thwart the nuptials. Meanwhile, marriage seems inconceivable for reluctant lovers Beatrice and Benedick whose endless witty sparring threatens to keep them apart forever.

Directed by Josie Rourke, Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare’s great plays and reminds us all of the failings and triumphs of the human condition in our never ending search for perfect love.

Runtime: 2 hours, 40 minutes        

This group watch is scheduled for Saturday, April 8, at 6:00pm Central.

If you are interested in participating, subscribe to the viewing by sending an ask or an IM to @dwgroupwatch or to me, @buffyann23 who will be hosting the viewing on Rabbit. I’ll send you the link to the viewing via IM approximately 30 minutes before showtime. Please make sure that if you subscribe, you are able to receive messages through IM.

youtube

VIDEO: David Tennant Presents An Award At Tonight’s BRITS

Dialogue from Broadchurch 3 on BBC Radio 4 Front Row
  • Hardy: You gave her your number?!
  • Ellie: Oh, don't start.
  • Hardy: Your personal number!
  • Ellie: Yes, I did!
  • Hardy: What have I told you?!
  • Ellie: She needed it!
  • Hardy: Every time, Miller!
  • Ellie: Pardon me for being human.
  • Hardy: We investigate, support services support.
  • Ellie: Support services aren't there yet!
  • Hardy: You can't keep doing this.
  • Ellie: Once before!
  • Hardy: Twice before!
  • Ellie: Oh, now you're keeping count?
  • Hardy: Yes.
  • Ellie: If I'm so annoying why did you come back?
  • Hardy: Oh, don't start!
  • Ellie: Always having a problem.
  • Hardy: There's a protocol.
  • Ellie: I did not miss this, you know, when you weren't here, the constant berating.
  • Hardy: She can't be ringing you all the time.
  • Ellie: She's been raped!