STARTING HAMLET WITH “TO BE OR NOT TO BE…” Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet opened last night. Hugo Guy in the Daily Mail (August 19) had reported on some of the controversies surrounding the previews of the production. One controversy had been that the director had moved Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy to the very beginning of the play. In response to criticism of this change to Shakespeare’s words, the director moved the speech back to where Shakespeare put it.
Cumberbatch’s comment on having the speech at the beginning of the play was: “…not the easiest place to begin a play”.