Doctor Who signing ban at Hamlet
Royal Shakespeare Company veteran David Tennant once more treads the boards in Stratford, this time assuming the holy grail of roles: Hamlet.
However, his core audience these days are his legions of Doctor Who fans. The powers that be at the RSC don't want the stage door clogged with telly addicts, though, and are dissuading fans of the Time Lord from taking up the Dane's time.
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) says only programmes and other Hamlet merchandise can be autographed at the stage door.
Tennant and Stewart are starring in the RSC production at the Courtyard Theatre, in Stratford.
The first preview begins later, and the play opens on 5 August.
Hamlet director, Gregory Doran, recently said fans arrive at the stage door with "bags" of Doctor Who merchandise for Tennant to autograph.
It should be no surprise that Tennant wants, for a while, at least, to set down his sonic screwdriver and pull on Hamlet's inky cloak. The role is as dramatic and demanding, and as illuminating of the human condition, as King Lear. It is as challenging for a young actor as Lear is for an older one. And as with Lear, there is always the chance that by the time you are mature enough to play it, you are too old to play it.
Thanks to Dr Who, Tennant has accrued the requisite amount of charisma to play Hamlet. But when he takes to the stage of the Courtyard Theatre in July, he will be a young-looking 37, and most estimates put Hamlet at 33.
I saw Tennant in the RSC's 1996 production of As You Like It; he was nothing short of awesome.