back to article Doctor Who fans told to lay off Hamlet

Fans of Doctor Who and Star Trek have been told to lay off autograph hunting at the stage door of the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford, where David Tennant and Patrick Stewart are thesping it up in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet. The ban comes after fans apparently started turning up at the venue with "bags" of …


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  1. The Mighty Spang
    Thumb Down

    sad sad sad

    the bbc says tickets have been changing hands for over £200. flipping hell.

    tennent sucks arse. i still want to know what squidgy things he's been doing to whom at the bbc to work so much there in the last few years. and this play is just stuntcasting

    i fully approve of this if there was some kind of mass sweeny todd scene as the entire audience of moist panted loosers disappear into a basement to be cut up and put in bags marked "toxic waste"

    i heard stewart on the radio a few years ago saying the first thing he did after trek got big was a play by old shakey, he gets onstage only to see a couple in the front row dressed in trek uniforms. from the tone of his voice he sounded surprised they weren't mutually masturbating at the same time.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not obvious

    "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."


    Nobody gives a toss about our production but at least we can make some money by allowing autographs only on tat you've bought from us.

    To all thespians "HAMLET"

    Oh, and can anyone explain what all this autograph thing is about?

  3. Les Matthew
    Thumb Up

    So there won't be

    a lot of signed memorabilia turning up on eBay then?

  4. le jono

    Type cast

    I was under the impression Patrick Stewart would be remember more for his shakesphere work.

    He does have a shiny head though

  5. Leigh Smith

    Hypocrisy time!

    Excuse me is the comment section where people who cream their knickers over centuries old plays that they have seen dozens of times show utter contempt and disdain for those who do the same for contemporary entertainment? It is? Jolly good!

    Why haven't I been told to stay away? As an X-Men fan I feel somewhat left out by not being subject to the sneering of the upper-classes, the educated and El Reg hacks. Can someone kindly disrespect my choice of entertainment just because they don't like it so I do not feel so left out? Thank you kindly.

  6. Anon E Mus

    @The Mighty Spang

    It doesn't matter if Tennant sucks arse. He only has to go on stage and act emo for 4 hours. It should be less challenging than playing the doctor.

  7. rasputinsDog

    Re:Hypocrisy time!

    Excuse me, you wanker, but your choice of entertainment sucks! Kindly return the basement from whence you emerged. I believe mommy will be missing you soon and we mustn't be out past dark. The adults are talking now so sod off. No thanks necessary.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Royal Shakespeare Company Embraces 17th Century Marketing!!

    Let's see, which would be smarter marketing.

    1) Allowing the trekkies and Who fans to see their idols, get some gear signed and perhaps become interested in going to a production or two sometime.

    2) Being given what can be perceived as the snob stiffarm in which case they'll quite possibly start thinking that Shakespeare is entertainment for jerks.

    By the way, I'm not a trekkie but I definitely remember Jean Luc Picard having a big thing for Shakespeare and working a "holodeck" scene from Henry V into one episode. It doesn't seem that the RSC knows a good product placement when they see it.

    In other news, I am waiting for the LA Galaxy to refuse to let David Beckham sign Manchester United, Real Madrid and England football jerseys. I am sure that would go over well.....

  9. John H Woods Silver badge

    I'll let you know...

    ... I can't believe how much my tickets seem to be worth!

  10. The Mighty Spang
    Thumb Down

    @Anon E Mus

    you kidding? uttering 20 lines of guff in Dr "not quite Who as we don't have multiple episode shows because the audience are thick as shit and 2 episodes doesn't count" Who - that can do multiple takes isn't like learning all the soliloquies in sodding Hamlet

    yeah shakey sucks arse because it takes too much time to really listen to what is being said and the actors have moved on. if you just let it all wash over you and listen for the rythm and timbre its ok but whats the bloody point.

    don't get it, tom baker gets typecast and doesnt work for years, tennant who does the same bloody thing over and over again is lauded to heaven and gets to do shakey. shurely shome mishtake?

    tom baker is the only Who. though i reckon David Thewlis would be bloody brilliant at it. and he can act. unlike tennant.

  11. Nic Brough

    Two minds

    I admit to being a Doc fan and enjoying Trek, although not enough to bang on about them to non-fans, collect the tat, or dress up. Both actors have done quite well in the roles (sorry, they still can't beat Tom Baker, Jon Pertwee or William Shatner's Tribble/Wig), and I'm glad they're recognised for it.

    But I completely understand that from an actors point of view, they don't want to be typecast, and this move will help them with that.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ahhhhh I can see it now ...

    The RSC proudly presents ... Hamlet

    Cyberleader as Hamlet

    Davros as Yorick

    Luxwana Troi as Queen Gertrude

    Donna Noble as Ophelia

    Qwark (Ferengi) as Polonius

    Commander Riker as Marcellus

    etc etc.

    Should brighten the play up no end if the Face of Bo made an impromptu appearance >:o)

  13. Anonymous Coward

    @Leigh Smith

    x-men suck!

    Feel better? (Really I could care less about x-men but you seem to need it so... I hope that that helps.)

  14. Trix


    AC, that for the win. Qwark as Polonius alone is gold. :-D

  15. JMcL

    @The Mighty Sprang

    "though i reckon David Thewlis would be bloody brilliant at it. and he can act"

    Hmmmm David Thewlis doing Doctor Who in the guise of his Johnny character from Mike Leigh's "Naked", now there'd be something!

  16. Mark Aggleton
    Black Helicopters

    @The Mighty Spang

    Ticket price doesn't surprise me. It's foing to London after Startford, my other half had to join RSC to order tickets pre September and throughout December could only get 30th in the Gods.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Trekkie fans should call themselves lucky

    Patrick Stewart sounds like he is reading Hamlet monologues all the time on Star Trek.

  18. Tim Bates

    Does this mean he's moving on?

    I agree with all who say Tennant isn't that good of a Doctor. I'd rather have classic style back. These new series are just other shows with a blue Police box stuck in them...

    Oh, and don't get me started on the TARDIS interior... What the heck happened there? Steampunk console room, and replace every other room with just the one coatroom. Where'd the warehouses bedrooms and other various rooms go?

  19. michael

    the real hypacrits are


    ok so once or twice a year I like to dress up as a tv char and go to a convention meet like midned pepol and decus physics and plots and pepols motervations and interlectual stuff

    EVERY WEEK they dress up as there favrot clebs and watch pepol kick a ball and shout insults at the ref!

  20. AJ

    @Chris W

    "Nobody gives a toss about our production but at least we can make some money by allowing autographs only on tat you've bought from us."

    This is well funny - tickets are changing hands for over £200 and your interpretation is "nobody gives a toss"? Hamlet's going to be packed with Trek/Who fans as it is, the last thing they need is sweaty fanboys hanging around in ST uniforms or waving sonic screwdrivers...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @the mighty spang

    >don't get it, tom baker gets typecast and doesnt work for years, tennant who does the same bloody thing over and over again is lauded to heaven and gets to do shakey. shurely shome mishtake?

    err and what was tennant doing a few years ago? ah - 2 seasons at the RSC and plenty of other acclaimed work.

    you numpty.

  22. Anon E Mus

    @The Mighty Spang

    The main problem I have with hamlet is that most it goes like this: "I should do something.... Should I do something?? I don't know what to do. etc." just in more poetic language.

  23. spiny norman


    I think you'll find that Patrick Stewart has some pretty impressive stage acting on his CV. Tennant's also been at the RSC before Dr Who. There's a long and glorious tradition of RSC alumni making it in TV or film and coming back to give some gloss to the dull old bard. David Bradley, a fine actor by anyone's standards, has had some big leads since landing Filch in Harry Potter.

    At least they haven't got Catherine Tate as Ophelia (I assume, I haven't checked).

  24. Mr Fury

    @Chris W

    If you were trying to scare the thesps, it's MacBeth which is the cursed one, not Hamlet!

    As for signing stuff, I'd much rather ask Pat Stewart why three-quarters of the TNG movies were utter bilge, and whack him upside the head for actually defending Nemesis - a film so bad it could've been an Ed Wood effort.

  25. Colin MacLean

    Who's best?

    A mate of mine who's an old-school Who fan was once given short-shrift by the late, great Jon Pertwee.

    A number of fanboys were hanging around the stage door after a theatre performance. Pertwee came through the door and upon being confronted with the assembled nerds, prompty said in his inimitable style "I'm not signing anything, I will only shake your hand!".

    A true legend...

  26. Ian
    Paris Hilton

    @Chris W

    ``Nobody gives a toss about our production but at least we can make some money by allowing autographs only on tat you've bought from us.

    To all thespians "HAMLET"''

    Nobody gives a toss in that ``almost every ticket sold out on the initial member and associate member rounds, so there were almost none left for civilians'' kind of way.

    And if you're alluding to plays that actors aren't supposed to name, and that rather find Blackadder episode, you mean ``MACBETH''. They're somewhat different plays.

    Speaking as someone with a passing interest in Doctor Who, as a regular at the RSC (to the extent that I did the ``eight history plays in four days'' thing earlier this year) and as the proud possessor of a couple of front and centre tickets for my elder daughter and me, it sounds fairly promising.

    My daughter's now twelve, and in recent years I've taken her to the Greg Doran / Malcolm Storry Dream and the Rupert Goold / Patrick Stewart Tempest.

    Following on from the latter, which wasn't as good as the Nicholas Hytner / John Wood Tempest of blessed memory, but was extremely good --- and she's never seen or heard of Star Trek --- we trogged down to Chichester for the Goold / Stewart Macbeth. That was stunning, absolutely stunning.

    Tennant was reportedly a fine Romeo in a weak Romeo and Juliet some years ago, she likes Doctor Who, Tennant's been playing the Doctor in prime emo student guise of late as though he's channelling reports of David Warner's Hamlet and my daughter's about ready for Hamlet. Oh, and the Courtyard is rather fine, so we should get to see stuff there before it's supplanted by the new main house.

    Hamlet's not my favourite Shakespeare --- Tempest, Richard II, Richard III and Lear, probably --- although Dear Ken did a marvellous production in the early 90s (uncut --- 4hr30). But the omens are good for this one: Tennant's the right age and look, he's got the basic chops, the producer is sound, the house is good and everyone's the right age. What's not to look forward to?

    Batman was great last night, too: as my wife pointed out, though, we were twenty years older than everyone in the cinema...

    Paris: because she's stupid enough to affect contempt for Shakespeare, while I would have thought better of El Reg readers' intellect.

  27. Echowitch

    Hamlet for Who and Trek fans

    To engage, or not to engage: that is the order Number One:

    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

    The phasers and disrupter's of outrageous Romulans ?

    Or to take arms against a sea of tribbles,

    And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep; to try the Holodeck

    No more; and by a sleep to say we end

    The heart-ache and the thousand stun settings

    That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation

    Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;

    To sleep: perchance to timetravel: ay, there's the rub;

    For in that sleep of death what daleks may come

    When we have shuffled off this final series episode,

    Must give us pause: there's the respect

    That makes calamity of so long life;

    For who would bear the multiple Time Lord regenerations and scorns of time,

    The oppressor's wrong, the Doctor's contumely,

    The pangs of Billie Pipers love, the law's delay,

    The insolence of office and the spurns

    That patient merit of the unworthy takes,

    When he himself might his quietus make

    With a bare sonic screwdriver? who would fardels bear,

    To grunt and sweat under a fake wobbling set,

    But that the dread of something after death, (Pantomine)

    The undiscover'd country from whose bourn Shatner never recovered

    No traveller returns from Shangri-La, puzzles the will

    And makes us rather bear those ills we have

    Than warpspeed to others that we know not of?

    Thus conscience does make Ferengi of us all;

    And thus the native hue of resolution

    Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of Cardassian skin,

    And NCC-1701 enterprises of great pith and moment

    With this regard their currents turn awry,

    And lose the name of action. - Soft you now!

    The fair Lawxanna! Nymph, in thy orisons

    Be all my sins remember'd.

  28. Stuart Halliday

    A bit of background

    When I was a keen Dr. Who fan back in the 1980s I used to go to DWAS Conventions, etc. and yes there in the autograph queue would be the odd idiot carrying 10+ items which he (it usually was a guy) expected to be signed.

    Real Fans never did this, we understood that signing 100+ people's piece of paper was tiring enough and most guests were at the Con. out of the goodness of their heart. ie they didn't charge any attendant fee.

    We had rules and decorum. We did discouraged these idiots.

    By the 1990s quite a few Actors saw the signing event a golden opportunity to make extra cash. So they soon started charging £10 a photo and refused to sign anything else. Very soon they were virtually all doing this!

    Well, you can't blame a poor BBC Actor trying to earn a few bucks can we? :-)

    Also by the end of the 1990s some Actors were charging a fee of several 100 to several 1000s of quid as well.

    It just got very commercial.

    Fast forward to 2008 and it's all changed now of course. What with the Internet allowing a unscrupulous few to try to make money selling autographs to the States and the BBC banning current Actors on the Show from attending Fan events (didn't you know that?), how else is a Fan to get an autograph or to meet the Actor?

    But as usually it's these newbie, money-oriented Fans that don't know the old rules of conduct that will end up spoiling it for the kids and the older Fans who know how to behave in public.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AJ and Mr.Fury

    >This is well funny - tickets are changing hands for over £200 and your interpretation is "nobody gives a toss"? Hamlet's going to be packed with Trek/Who fans as it is...

    Exactly, tickets changing hands implies touts not box office sales, They've gone to see the Doctor, not the play so the RSC might as well make as much cash as they can.

    @Mr.Fury. Bugger, fat fingers, temporary lapse of memory, Danish, Scottish, they both talk funny.

  30. Colin Jackson
    Paris Hilton


    They should have had Sylvester McCoy as the ghost. And Mickey and K9 as Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern.

    Paris, because she's bigger on the inside.

  31. TheHempKnight

    Shatner's done better

    Even William Shatner does better on this, he tells his adoring (though I've never understood why) legions of fans to just Get A Life... Mine's the red one with the starfleet insignia.

  32. Sam

    the jockish play


    "Aaah! Hot potato, orchestra stalls, Puck will make amends!."

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile on planet Minge-Minor...

    Two ex-monster suit wearing 'actors' appeared in the Scottish Play.....

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    McCoy did the Fool against McKellen's Lear in what was (IMHO) the finest King Lear production of a generation.

    And Stewart had a magnificent run in a very good Macbeth - and a good stab but less memorable Malvolio in 12th night

    Paris as she probably appreciates Shakespeare more than most of the pillocks posting on this page.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    A Lost Opportunity...

    Royal Shakespeare Company should instead advertise that they will allow autographs if the fans have their own copy of Hamlet to be signed (or even sell copies for the fans), setup a special place away from the entrance for autographs, schedule a proper time for signatures, and charge $100 per head per autograph (funds going to the RSC and tax deductible). Then arrest fans who do not obey...

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A belated comment

    Went to see Hamlet on Saturday night.

    Actually Tennant was quite good. Stewart was of course superb.

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