I envy Jonathan Slinger's opportunity to play Hamlet. Hamlet is to a 'man' actor like Juliet is to a 'woman' actor. Unfortunately I am a woman and I shall never have the chance to play Hamlet. That does not mean I have not thought about it a lot.
At 41 Slinger is already up against it. Like Juliet, Hamlet is young and today with type casting being the norm it does help t be young. OK Prince Charles has had to wait for the throne and I suppose could play Hamlet although there is no wicked uncle on the scene but being young is a great advantage.
For centuries critics and actors have been concerned with what makes Hamlet tick. We have had all sorts of theories, the Freudian one about wanting to kill the father and sleep with the mother being a strong favorite in my time although when I suggested this in a major drama exam the examiner had never heard of it and countered with Well if Hamlet had killed his uncle Shakespeare wouldn't have had a play! I failed!
I came to the conclusion a long time ago that Hamlet was gay! Being gay answers many questions. Denmark didn't want a gay King for starters hence his uncle is easily accepted as King. Hamlet's mother couldn't face having a gay son. Shakespeare is thought to have been bisexual with the accent on the gay, (sonnets as ref) and wrote about what he knew. In his time being gay was not an option in public anyway although James I was but would not have admitted it so being gay was not acknowledged. Teenage Hamlet was difficult having problems with his sexuality. He must have felt guilty about his feelings and indecisive. Many gays do not enjoy killing. He did not like Orphelia sexually, not her fault, Hamlet preferred men, he died in Horatio's arms.
So that's it! I believe one major production has presented this interpretation. Playing Hamlet as a full blooded heterosexual is a very difficult feat to pull off as it goes against all normal behaviors but as a gay…… easy. I should be a director at RSC but in my time women director's were not wanted.
So I wish a 41 year actor all the luck in the world. He is going to need it.