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INTERVIEW - CRAZY LOVE

David Tennant has a deliciously disrespectful theory about Shakespeare. It comes up when he is telling me how Michael Boyd, the man who is directing his performance as Romeo in a new RSC production of the Bard’s most famous love story, decided to "tweak" the script. This tweaking, he explains, included the alteration of references to Juliet’s age. After extensive studies of the original play, Tennant says, he has come to the conclusion that Shakespeare was, basically, a dirty old man. "He makes it specifically clear that Juliet is 14, and then, not much further on, he makes it very, very clear that she’s been f****d," he says. "I think he was probably something of a dirty old man ."
Still, he is enjoying playing what he calls the "ultimate romantic lead". This is the Scottish actor’s second time with the RSC, and he talks of the "terrifying baggage" that working for the company brings. Then again, Tennant has plenty of baggage of his ow…

INTERVIEW: ENTER MR TENNANT CENTRE STAGE

WE HAVE just had a mordantly funny Morecambe and Wise moment. Romeo is skulking in the background, desperately trying to catch his friend Benvolio's eye as their mate Mercutio makes one filthy pun after another. Each attempt by the two young men to make eye contact ends with everybody in the room corpsing with laughter.

"It's pure Eric and Ernie, isn't it?" murmurs Michael Boyd, the Royal Shakespeare Company director rehearsing Shakespeare's romantic tragedy prior to its Stratford-upon-Avon opening.

It was Bathgate-born actor David Tennant's idea that they should introduce this bit of business into Act II, scene 1, when the hung-over Montague lads go in search of Romeo. "You were doing an Eric," Boyd grins at Tennant, the lanky 29-year-old playing Romeo. "No, I wasn't," denies Tennant. "I was pushing energy up from the back of the stage."

"Yeah, well, much as we all love Eric and Ernie, and Shirley Bassey tripping up ov…

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