Alex Hyde White (Hamlet/Ghost), Tom Badal (Claudius), Stefanie Powers (Gertrude), Richard Chamberlain (Polonius), Peter Woodward (Laertes/Player King),Iva Hasperger (Ophelia), Chuma Gault (Horatio), Joseph Culp (Himself)
Brian Keith Gamble (Francisco), Jenna Brighton (Bernardo),
John Hugo (Marcelo/Rosencrantz), David Mayhan (Guildenstem/Osric),
Kara M. Tyler (Gravedigger/Player Queen),
Shannon Sullivan (Second Gravedigger),
Keith Ducklin (Reynaldo), Kelvin O'Bryant (Voltemand/Lord),
J. Kent Inasy (Ambassador), Eric De Gamma (Fortinbras),
Nicholas Porcelli (Somewhere Guy), Liane Curtis (Carrots and Bananas)
Producers: Alex Hyde-White, Mara New, Chris Stevens and Louis Yansen
Co-producers: Liane Curtis, Shelly Bovert Hyde-White,
Page Ostrow and Michael Regabuto
Associate producer: Mathew L. Nelson
The documentary follows a troupe of actors who gather for three days to rehearse and perform a radio reading of Shakespeare's Hamlet. The actors grapple with their real-life similarities to the play during the course of their rehearsals. "Reality intrudes as a troupe of actors and others gather to rehearse and perform
a staged reading of Hamlet in "Three Days." They come together as
the actor-manager confronts unexpected ghost father/son issues.
The production goes awry, weaving an original take of a most primal story;
holding "the mirror up to nature."
director of "Three Days"
to "Richard Chamberlain Webbiography":
"Richard is charming and insightful in our
Alex Hyde-White, creator and director of "Three Days of Hamlet",
has made public the following video clip of the docu/film:
It is gripping to follow Alex Hyde-White
as he leads the viewer through his personal story and the
play of "Hamlet". As tension grows among the actors, things
slowly begin to fall into place and the powerful language
of Shakespeare and drama take over in a grand crescendo. All the actors do a superb job: in a very unusual way,
some even accept to partially lift the veil of their feelings,
fears and hopes thus making the viewer accomplice to their
state of mind and to the development of one
of the storylines of a multi-layer story.
Richard Chamberlain as Polonius and Alex Hyde-White as Hamlet.
"Three Days of Hamlet" is being featured in various locations,
for screening venues and dates,
It will be released in theatres in 15 cities in September
To listen to Alex Hyde-White discuss "Three Days of Hamlet"
on Arts Radio Network
Alex Hyde-White's interview during the Saint Louis Tivoli
screening of "Three Days of Hamlet" here
Three Days had a sneak preview on May 3, 2011, as part of BritWeek in support of independent film in the United Kingdom and the United States. A re-cut version premiered in Sewanee, The University of the South, TN, September 28. A discussion of the film, led by Alex Hyde-White, the director and lead actor of the documentary,
and Matt Nelson, co-producer and Sewanee alumnus, followed the screening. On November 6, a screening took place at First Pres Santa Monica during the American Film Market. On his blog, Alex Hyde-White has announced that the recently signed Producer's Representative has included the film on their website.
Alex Hyde-White with actress Stefanie Powers
and executive producer Chris Stevens at
the preview in Los Angeles
Five video clips with director Alex Hyde-White, Tom Badal,
Richard Chamberlain, Peter Woodward, Brian Keith Gamble, Stefanie Powers
and other actors commenting on "Three Days" and rehearsing.
To watch the video click on text at the bottom
Alex Hyde-White latest comments
"We want this film to sing! Right now it is in advanced post-production
(3.0) phase. What's next is one final editors pass, currently underway,
then composing the soundtrack to replace the temporary music cues, followed by a final audio mix. It means a lot to me personally that you are even considering helping us complete this "tone poem" to my sons. Using the classical spine of Hamlet, one of the Western Civilization's greatest father/son (mother/uncle) stories, and balancing it with personal revelation thru documentary interviews, along with some good old-fashioned learned in the trenches indie filmmaking, we attempt to "hold the mirror up to nature."
You, the audience, provide the third mirror-- and therefore make the reflection possibilities seem infinite. This is a story about the filling of infinite space,
our soul, while cleaning the wounds of the psyche we inherit and accumulate
on our journey to "providence.""
Richard Chamberlain discussing, rehearsing and filming "Three Days",
written and directed by Alex Hyde-White.
"Celebrating literacy and promoting imagination, "Three Days" combines classical theatre with modern-age reality television by covering (over 3 days) an acting troupe in rehearsals for a radio performance of Hamlet. Day one and day two are to be captured in a more informal, rehearsal room setting as the cast discover each other and their roles in anticipation of day three, the performance.
The performance will be a staged reading of the play, technically "impressive" as budget and conditions allow. Production design to be similar to a one-man show with screen projections behind, as well as incorporating sound effects. Some actors will be doubling parts, the set will be "live", miked at all times. Music stands will hold the text, which will be read. Naturally, some of the radio play will be "performed" as the actors customize their characters with some wardrobe and prop additions.
In addition, cast and crew will be encouraged to sit for interviews, ongoing throughout the two day rehearsal period in which they will tell stories about--Three Days in their lives. This starting off point will provide color and character with which to balance the "journey" of discovery that rehearsal and performance of the work will bring. The final movie
will incorporate b-roll and pre-shot movie footage in the form of flashback/memory, CGI digital effects and atmosphere.
..."You can certainly tell that a very talented group of actors was gathered to put
on this play reading. You want experience actors to work on a Shakespeare play.
The most fascinating actor to watch in the documentary had to be Richard Chamberlain. He plays Polonius and constantly commanded the camera whenever he is talking
to his fellow actors or when he is performing one of the scenes.
Not many people would be crazy enough to mount a staged reading of "Hamlet"
in three days. Alex Hyde-White not only directed and starred in the reading, he also filmed it.
Add to those stresses that he’d never directed a film before, and you might expect
Hyde-White to be unwinding in a mental health facility. Instead, he is proudly screening his film, "Three Days (of Hamlet)", during the Palm Beach International Film Festival.
Hyde-White is the son of the late British character actor Wilfrid Hyde-White, who is best known for portraying Col. Pickering in the 1964 movie My Fair Lady.
He chose "Hamlet" — a classic father-son play — partly to deal with his ambivalent feelings about his father and partly because he’s always loved the play.
His Dad was in his mid-50s when Alex Hyde-White was born. He was “not the classic Montessori father,” Hyde-White said.
Family friend Stephanie Powers, who plays Gertrude in the film, described him as “stubborn, difficult and emotionally distant.” Fortunately, his father’s sense of humor made up for his harsher traits, Hyde-White said.
Hyde-White, whose mother also was a theater professional, grew up backstage and
on movie and television sets. He followed his father’s footsteps into acting, which
has been his career for 30 years.
He recalls accompanying his father as a child when the elder Hyde-White performed in 1972 at the Royal Poinciana Playhouse in The Pleasure of His Company with Douglas Fairbanks Jr., in 1974 in "The Jockey Club Stakes" and in 1976 in "Not in the Book".
Hamlet can run up to 51/2 hours in its unabridged form. Hyde-White shaved a few
pages from the script, but the project was still a mammoth undertaking.
“I wanted to do something out of the box that had never been done before,.”
The movie mixes rehearsal and performance segments with Hyde-White reminiscing about his father, and scenes of the director and the actors reflecting on the play and the near-chaotic process.
Among those sharing their thoughts is Richard Chamberlain, who plays Polonius. He was one of 3,000 applicants for three parts Hyde-White advertised online.
Cramming so much into three days might not have produced the most polished version
of Hamlet, but it paid off in other ways, Hyde-White said. “If we had more time, it would not have been as rich. It was the urgency that fueled the production.”
Alex Hyde-White's documentary concerns his efforts
to stage a production of Shakespeare's tragedy
only three days of rehearsals.
Depicting the chaotic efforts to stage a performance of
Shakespeare’s classic with only three days of preparation,
Alex Hyde-White’s documentary Three Days (of Hamlet) proves
as much of a folly as the concept would indicate.
While it does offer some genuine insights into the play,
its attempts to examine the difficult relationship between
the actor/filmmaker and his famous character actor father
Wilfrid Hyde-White through the prism of Shakespeare’s tragedy
quickly prove strained.
Richard Chamberlain and
Stefanie Powers, playing Polonius and Gertrude respectively,
are among the big names by Hyde-White for his unorthodox
Los Angeles production of a streamlined version of the
lengthy tragedy. The reasons for the production’s truncated
rehearsal time are never satisfactorily explained, although
it does provide the opportunity for some colorful comments
from the participants.
“Doing Hamlet in three days has turned out to be a very chaotic
experience,” says Chamberlain in typically understated fashion,
while another of the actors is rather more explicit in his bafflement.
“I never knew Alex before, so I don’t know if he lost his mind
or never had it,” he says.
The film alternates between segments depicting the chaotic
rehearsals and ones exploring Hyde White’s difficult relationship
with his late father--famed for his stage work and memorable
turns in such films as My Fair Lady—who once told him that
“true talent skips a generation.” The two are seen interacting in
an old clip from The Merv Griffin Show that reveals little of the
angst that the son now expresses.
That the 54-year-old actor--whose extensive credits include
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Pretty Woman--was
making this film even as he was frantically preparing to both direct
and star in his vanity production no doubt accounts for its extreme
choppiness, not to mention such poor sound quality that some of
the interview subjects can barely be understood.
It’s a shame, because the numerous scenes from the play itself
indicate that the actor/filmmaker seems to possess the dramatic chops
necessary for the difficult role. And judging by his stirring rendition of
the famous “To thine own self be true” speech, the ever-reliable
Chamberlain would make for a moving Polonius. Perhaps someday
we’ll have the opportunity to see him perform it under more fortuitous
Chaos, laughs as 'Hamlet' is readied in 'Three Days'
Like Hamlet, L.A. actor Alex Hyde-White is haunted by the ghost of
the British character actor Wilfrid. Best known as
in the 1964 film "My Fair Lady," Wilfrid warned
his son that "true talent usually skips a generation."
"Three Days (of Hamlet)" is Alex's rebuttal. In a 72-hour self-dare,
Hyde-White directed and starred in a 99-seat production of "Hamlet"
— with himself in the title role, naturally — and then fashioned this
documentary about it.
The result is high school English crossed with "Waiting for Guffman,"
though the humor is largely accidental. Hyde-White's cast includes
friends such as Richard Chamberlain as Polonius and Iva Hasperger
(the beautiful blond star of Roger Corman's "Dinoshark") as Ophelia,
as well as a lady grabbed from the audience to play the messenger.
Nearly everyone is in over his or her head, including the director.
"I don't know if he's lost his mind or never had it," says his Horatio.
The comedy comes from the cast's passive-aggressive good cheer.
After ranting that Hyde-White is getting his makeup done rather
than organizing rehearsal, one young actor pauses and grins,
"That's brilliant — he's keeping us on our toes."
In a world glutted with Shakespearean revivals, the only reasons this
"Hamlet" had to be staged at all, let alone turned into a doc, are vanity
and sentiment. No matter. Shrugs his Gertrude (Stefanie Powers)
as she heads onstage to get poisoned, "We'll be dead soon."
The reading of "Hamlet" was shot in the Matrix theatre in West Hollywood with a live audience. "The show ran over 4 hours... The audience loved it. It was exciting, perhaps primal in parts because of the nature of the exercise, and the risk of it, to be performing it," remarked Alex Hyde-White.
Richard Chamberlain played "Hamlet" in 1967 at the Birmingham Repertory
to great acclaim. Three years later he was again the Prince of
Denmark in a movie version of the play aired by Hallmark within its series
"Hallmark Hall of Fame".