The production of Hamlet that I was in in 1995 is firmly imprinted on my psyche. It was at a potent moment in my history and one of my first jobs. Some lines have, in the subsequent years, lost their immediate association with that show. I have seen enough productions, taught it in enough classrooms, heard enough recitations, to have shaken off the intonations or movements of those actors I worked with over 20 years ago.
There are certain lines that instantly call to mind that production and those actors. This is one of them. I see Tim bursting onto stage – his large frame even larger – arms wide – full of fury. This line is like the heart of Tim’s Laertes. Which will always be my first Laertes, my origin Laertes, the baseline Laertes.
It’s interesting to think of characters with trigger lines – lines that sum up the whole of them …a sort of microcosm of character. “Where is this king?” was the seed of that primal Laertes.