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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Alas, poor.......Andre?

David Tennant realises pianist's dying wish by using the skull he left in his will to play 'Alas, poor Yorick' scene in Hamlet

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:11 PM on 25th November 2008

As an acclaimed musician, Andre Tchaikowsky lived his life to the sound of applause. Now in death, it continues.

The Polish pianist, who died in 1982, bequeathed his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company.

And after more than 25 years of waiting in the wings, it is finally starring in the company's latest production of Hamlet.

It is used in act five, scene one, when a grave-digger unearths the skull of the jester Yorick. Hamlet, holding it close, declares: 'Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.'

David Tennant, best known for his role in the BBC's Doctor Who, plays Hamlet in the RSC production. He is the first actor to use Mr Tchaikowsky's skull on stage.

In the years since the bequest, it has only been used in rehearsals as no actor has felt comfortable using it in performance. Replicas have been used instead.

Greg Doran, director of the current play, is said to have wanted 'to make the performance as real as possible' and retrieved the skull from its tissue-lined box at the RSC archive.

Mr Tchaikowsky was a Holocaust survivor who emigrated to Britain at the age of four.

He was devoted to Shakespeare, often visiting the Bard's home town of Stratford-Upon-Avon.

He died of cancer aged 46 and in his will asked that his organs be donated for medical research - and his skull given to the RSC for use in its productions.

Mr Tchaikowsky emigrated to Oxford in 1942 at the age of four and regularly visited Shakespeare's Stratford-Upon-Avon.

He died of cancer aged 46 in 1982 and in his will he stated it was his wish for his organs to be donated for medical science.

But he added the odd proviso: '...with the exception of my skull, which shall be offered by the institution receiving my body to the Royal Shakespeare Company for use in theatrical performance.'

Since then, his skull has largely been stored in a tissue-lined box kept within a box in a climate-controlled room at the RSC archives.

David Howells, curator of the archives, said: 'It has never been used on stage before.

'In 1989 the actor Mark Rylance rehearsed with it for quite a while but he couldn't get past the fact it wasn't Yorick's, it was Andre Tchaikowsky's.

'That, and the fear of an accident and it being slightly macabre, was why they decided not to use it and used an exact replica.

'You will probably have to go back to the early 19th century for the last time a real human skull was used in a production of Hamlet.

'Various people have known about its existence before and the director for the current production, Greg Doran, knew about it and was interested in using it.'

'I think he wanted to make the performance as real as possible.'

The RSC had to apply for special permission to use the skull from the Human Tissue Authority as it is less than 100 years old.

Unbeknown to the audience and most of the production crew Tennant appeared with it for 22 performances during the recent run.

Mr Doran, who made the decision to use it, explained why he didn't want anyone to know.

He said: 'I thought it would topple the play and it would be all about David acting with a real skull.

'It was sort of a little shock tactic though, of course, to some extent that wore off and it was just Andre, in his box.'

Dave Ferre, a friend of the Tchaikowsky family and who runs his official website, said: 'That was Andre's dream and this is great news, the family will be pleased.'

I find this fascinating. Using a real skull! I hope someone asks David what it felt like to act while holding Andre's skull for those 22 performances.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Doctor Who: The Next Doctor - Children in Need 2008

This was shown on the Children on Need fund raiser on 11-14-08. It's the first couple of minutes of the 2008 Christmas Special titled 'The Next Doctor' guest starring David Morrissey.

I want to see this so much that Christmas can't come soon enough for me.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Einstein and Eddington (11-22-08)

I've been watching each part of this as it has been posted all day long.....while I've been downloading the torrent...shhh....don't tell anyone. David, as usual, is fantastic playing Arthur Eddington. The story is well worth watching even if David weren't in it.

It's so sad that Eddington has been so forgotten when he was so important to Einstein's work being accepted. This story should have been told years ago.

I give much thanks to Tiddybeth for posting this. Please visit her site at YouTube and let her know how much you appreciate her taking the time to upload this.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

'Einstein and Eddington' Articles

There a some articles about 'Einstein and Eddington' at Included is a diary David wrote in the Radio Times about filming 'Einstein and Eddington'. Click on the pictures to read them here.

Listen to David on Radio

David will be doing a couple of radio interviews to promote 'Einstein and Eddington' on Friday, November 21. First up is an appearance on 'The Christian O'Connell Show' on Absolute Radio in the 9AM GMT hour. Later, he'll be on 'Front Row' on BBC Radio 4 at 7:15PM GMT.

You can listen to the best bits from Christian O'Connell's show afterwards here. BBC Radio 4's 'Front Row' will be available to replay for 7 days here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

'Einstein and Eddington' Premieres

BBC Two is finally showing 'Einstein and Eddington' on Saturday, November 22 at 9:10PM's listed on the calendar at the bottom of the page. Hopefully, some wonderful YouTuber in the UK will give the rest of the world a look at David's latest movie. I'll start searching for it Saturday evening and post what I find.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

They Butchered 'Voyage Of The Damned'

If you want to see 'Voyage Of The Damned' don't bother watching BBC America's cut down hour long version. Missing scenes include the passengers' visit to Earth, seeing the TARDIS floating to Earth, Morvin and Foon talking while fixing the Host, the survivors taking a rest while eating, Astrid kissing the Doctor, the ENTIRE ENDING of the just stops after the Doctor sits down next to Midshipman Frame after he's stopped the Titanic from crashing.

Any kind of real feelings between the Doctor and Astrid are entirely cut out of the episode. There's no flirty moment when the Doctor says 'You should see me in the mornings' and Astrid replies 'Okay'. There's no moment when Astrid asks 'Can I come with you?' and the Doctor says 'Yeah. I'd like that'. There's no attempt by the Doctor to bring Astrid back by using the teleport and then kissing her before he turns her into stardust so she can travel forever. The whole heart of the episode is entirely cut out. Such wonderful Doctor moments only David can do so well are gone.

If you want to see 'Voyage Of The Damned' the way it's meant to be viewed, be sure to get the series 4 DVDs.......or you could find a torrent to download. ;-)

Monday, November 10, 2008

David Tennant on Breakfast (11-3-08)

Here's an interview with David from BBC One's Breakfast program. He discusses his decision to leave 'Doctor Who' along with appearing in 'Hamlet' and his movie 'Einstein and Eddington'.

This was posted by BreakfastFever at YouTube.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Graham Norton Doctor Who Special (11-8-08 & 11-9-08)

Graham Norton is having a Doctor Who Special with David Tennant and Catherine Tate on BBC America this weekend. I don't know if this was filmed before of after David made his announcement about leaving. Either way, it's a chance to see David. I'll have all the times posted on the calendar.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Bill - Deadline - Entire Episode

I finally found the entire episode David guest starred in from The Bill. I'm so thankful to Tiddybeth for posting this at YouTube.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Double Income No Kids Yet Is On Again

I just discovered BBC Radio 7 has been playing Double Income No Kids Yet again. It looks like they have gone through series 1 and are to be starting on series 2 on November 6. Each episode can be listened to again for a whole week.....until the next episode is broadcast. DINKY's site is here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I Did It

I decided on a new picture for my blog header. I picked a screencap from 'Voyage of the Damned' at The Doctor looks so irresistible in a tux that I just couldn't resist using it.

Totally Tennant is Being Updated A Bit

I'm in the process of changing a few things on my blog. I've decided to change some fonts and do away with all capitals in the post names.....since it looks like I'm shouting. I've done away with the green background since it can appear a lot darker on some computers. With the new white background, I've decided to change all the green text to blue since the UK flag is red, white and blue.....yes, there is a method to my madness. I've also changed the ad colors to blend in with the new color scheme.

Something new to my blog is a calendar at the bottom of the page listing all of David's appearances on TV, radio and stage...I can't guarantee I'll find everything he'll be on, but I'll try. The new calendar means I won't be writing a post every time an episode of Doctor Who is due to be broadcast. It will be posted on the calendar. If the calendar doesn't work out, I'll go back to my old way of posting.

I'm toying around with changing the picture at the top......even though I love that picture.......but I haven't figured out what I want to put up there yet.

It's the beginning of a new month and it just seemed like a good time to do the changes.....gee I sound like David saying the timing is right to leave 'Doctor Who'. OK now I'm bummed out again.

Anyway, I hope you like the fresher look.

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