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Results: Your favourite Hamlet 'To be or not to be' soliloquy
In celebration of William Shakespeare’s 454th birthday, we asked for your opinion on the definitive performance of the ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy from Hamlet.
We gave you the choice of ten actors who have taken on the Dane, and asked you to vote for your favourite. The actors in contention were: Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Scott, Laurence Olivier, David Tennant, Paapa Essiedu, Kenneth Branagh, Richard Burton, Toby Stephens, Rory Kinnear and Paul Scofield.
The winner, with around one-third of the votes, was Andrew Scott’s performance in Robert Icke’s Almeida Theatre production last year. Scott won the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Shakespearean Performance and was nominated for the Best Actor Olivier Award in a production that was described by Mark Shenton as “an instant part of theatrical folklore”. The performance was captured live on stage in the West End at the Harold Pinter Theatre, and broadcast by the BBC in 2018.
Second place went to David Tennant for his performance in Gregory Doran’s 2008 Royal Shakespeare Company production. Tennant played the Dane in the modern-day production which also starred Patrick Stewart as Claudius, and was adapted as a film for the BBC.
In third place was Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance at the Barbican in 2015. The actor performed in a 12-week run of the play at the Barbican Theatre, directed by Lyndsey Turner, in what was one of the most hyped theatrical productions of the decade.
To watch videos of all the performances included in the vote, click here.