Normally, in Seattle, when you read the Guardian review of a Hamlet at the Olivier, you can only sigh slightly, and make a few notes about the production: modern dress, police state, stars Rory Kinnear (“What I admire about Kinnear is that he pays scrupulous attention to language”). Yes, tickets are just ten to thirty pounds, but London is a bit of a stretch for an evening at the theatre. (Let’s just check British Air to be sure.)
This Monday night, though, you can make a much shorter trip, to SIFF Cinema at McCaw Hall, and watch the play as part of their National Theatre Live series (a cousin to the popular The Met: Live in HD digital screenings). Here the ticket price is $20 ($15 for SIFF members) for the 180-minute play, with intermission.
The series is remarkable in itself. After Hamlet comes Fela!, the Bill T. Jones musical production; King Lear, Frankenstein, and The Cherry Orchard. A series pass is $80 ($60 for SIFF members).