Hamlet – The Persuader

By Jeremy Blake on September 30, 2021

McKellen has just completed his second run as Hamlet, his first was 50 years ago when he was thirty-one. The age Hamlet is by the end of the play.

Sir Ian is 82 and played the lead in Sean Mathias’s production at the Theatre Royal Windsor.

Bob and I went to see it and weeks later we are still getting so much from the experience.

It seems the experience made us consider the art of persuasion. Hamlet with perhaps the extra life experience provided by having Sir Ian play him, is a man who has to persuade people throughout the play.

He himself is not fully persuaded by the ghost of his father so he influences Horatio to help him see if any guilt or shock shows on his uncle Claudius’s face. The man who killed his father. He does this by influencing the players who visit the castle to enact a scene that gives Horatio the chance to observe his reaction. He even directs the players in the short scene of poisoning by the ear, ototoxicity no less.

In the latest Bob and Jeremy’s Conflab episode we discuss the greatness of this play as well as Mckellen’s performance, we also praise this wonderful gender, age and colour-blind production as we get something more from the play and the language.

In business persuading people to take action is your goal, and yet you achieve it through language. Taking the time to work out your message, the importance and what people must do having heard you isn’t something you should rush.

In a time of less face-to-face engagement you should take even longer to prepare your thoughts and words.

Check out the episode Hamlet – the Persuader. It might just be the drama you need to inspire a new approach to your persuasion skills.


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