The BBC aired Robert Icke’s theatre production of Hamlet on Saturday night, and viewers were blown away by the performance of lead man Andrew Scott.
The former Sherlock star plays the role of Hamlet, the titular, scheming prince who has designs upon the throne, which is occupied by his uncle-turned-stepfather Claudius. He had won plaudits throughout the production’s West End run, and BBC2 viewers were equally impressed, taking to Twitter to share their awe at his performance.
“Andrew Scott has delivered the most captivating, truthful and heartbreaking performance as #Hamlet,” user @bella-allchorne wrote, “It’s so rare for an actor to be able to do a speech that they know inside out, but make the audience believe that they are thinking and saying the words for the first time.”
Watch a clip of Scott performing the “to be or not to be” soliloquy below.
— BBC Two (@BBCTwo) March 28, 2018
And check out some of the praise for his performance:
Andrew Scott has delivered the most captivating, truthful and heartbreaking performance as #Hamlet … Its so rare for an actor to be able to do a speech that they know inside out, but to make the audience believe that they are thinking and saying the words for the first time.
— Bella Allchorne (@bella_allchorne) March 31, 2018
It's a rare thing indeed that an actor seems always to be thinking and saying things live and for the first time, every time. Andrew Scott is a revelation. I am in awe all over again. #hamlet
— kevdrwg (@kevdrwg) March 31, 2018
Andrew Scott’s portrayal of mental collapse in grief is cutting me to the core. #Hamlet
— Mr Owl Head* (@sullieship) March 31, 2018
Hamlet Fact: Andrew Scott often spoke about how young people, guys in particular, are forced to move on too quickly. Are being told showing emotions, mourning, is not manly enough. & How he hoped his Hamlet would break that stigma a little. #HamletBBCTwo
— Andrew Scott (@andrwscttonline) March 31, 2018
Controversial opinion: Andrew Scott is a better Hamlet than Benedict Cumberbatch #Hamlet
— Olivia Blackbourn (@livblackbourn) March 31, 2018
Is it just me or is this episode of Sherlock more concise and easier to follow than usual?#Hamlet
— Mrs Stephen Fry (@MrsStephenFry) March 31, 2018
— Tom Salyers (@ShakespeareNerd) March 31, 2018
Can’t watch another Hamlet knowing this is the best I will ever see. #HamletBBCTwo
— MistressWu (@MistressWu) March 31, 2018
Some play Hamlet as above or 10 feet away from you. Andrew's was there whispering in your ear, letting you in, having a conversation with you #HamletBBCTwo
— Kelly Muggs (@kellyloumugg) March 31, 2018
Many viewers also called upon the BBC to broadcast more theatre.
— Greg Wright (@gregwrightYP) March 31, 2018
Hey BBC, this production of #Hamlet is pretty epic. Can we have more televised stage plays, please? ????
— Elva02 (@Elvarang) March 31, 2018
They’ll be happy to know that a feature film adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear is coming to the Beeb later this year. Anthony Hopkins leads a star-studded cast which also features Emma Thompson, Florence Pugh, Jim Broadbent and Andrew Scott, who seems to be developing quite a taste for the legendary bard’s work.