Walpole students catch Jude Law in Hamlet

Lynne Carty

Hamlet, The Donmar West End 2009

By Lynne Carty

Class of 2010

Planned and chaperoned by English teachers Ms. Culliton, Mr. Alan, and Ms. Padis, the trip to New York City to see Hamlet on Broadway was a huge success. About 50 kids, most of whom had just read the play, were lucky enough to get a spot on the field trip and a chance to see one of Jude Law’s last performances as Hamlet.

The group started the day off early and left Walpole around 6:30 AM. Four hours later, they arrived in Rockefeller Center and, despite the rainy weather, made the most of their free time by doing some Christmas shopping and admiring all of the holiday decorations. After grabbing lunch at Rockefeller, the group walked a few blocks and made their way through the wind and rain to get to the theater for the two o’clock show.

As Hamlet, Jude Law surpassed expectations and delivered some of Shakespeare’s most famous words with ease. Law used a lot of motion to convey his lines, which heightened the intensity of his performance and also showed his surprising knack for physical comedy. When some Hollywood actors try to do Broadway, it’s pretty clear that they belong back on the screen but, judging from Law’s performance as the doomed prince of Denmark, he fits well in both worlds. Broadway’s version of Hamlet this year was traditional in all aspects except for the costumes, which were modern and minimal. Queen Gertrude, for instance, wore a pantsuit and diamond necklace while Hamlet donned a wardrobe almost identical to Jude Law’s real-life outfits.

Once the show ended, the students and chaperones went outside the theater to wait for their bus ride home (luckily, by this time the rain had turned into a light snow). Although the students were tired after their long day in NYC,  the wait outside turned out to be worth it when the starstruck students came within a few feet of Jude Law as he  happened to be crossing the street on his way back into the theater.

After the students’ glimpse of Christmas time in NYC and soon after their brush with fame, the students reluctantly boarded the bus as it arrived to bring them back to Walpole.