excuse me could you direct me to the gayest productions of hamlet? please & thank you
I am delighted by this message, bless you.
Hands down, it’s Hamlet at Elsinore (starring Christopher Plummer & Michael Caine as wee 20-somethings). You wouldn’t expect a 1964 production to be the gayest one ever, but it goes beyond plausible deniability to a true, actor-confirmed queer interpretation of Hamlet and Horatio. And just to sweeten the deal, it’s an amazing production that flows super well, has a GREAT Ophelia and Laertes, and has no gross Oedipus interpretations. By far my favorite filmed version of Hamlet.
Second place for level of gay is even older (1921) and German: the first filmed production of Hamlet, with Asta Nielsen playing the leading role. As it takes the premise that Hamlet’s birth sex was female but he was raised as male so the kingdom would have a prince, his clear attraction to and flirtation with his male companions was acceptable to its contemporary audience. But like. It’s a dude. Who’s clearly not into Ophelia and way into his guy friends. It’s pretty gay.
It’s really really great too, with gorgeous cinematography but is a German silent film so fair warning.
(There are other very gay Hamlets I could have included. Maxine Peake’s is fab, and the RSC’s has some vibes. But these are the two that are also actual amazing performances, so they are always my #1 recs for queer Hamlet.)