Following Doctor Who star David Tennant’s withdrawal from Hamlet due to a persistent back injury, the press has been awash with speculation as to the extent of the injury, not to mention smugly reporting that the Royal Shakespeare Company are refusing to refund tickets.
However, surely the RSC should refund tickets?
Anyone requiring a refund has no doubt purchased tickets on the back of the presence of one actor – David Tennant – and being unable to enjoy the play without his presence would be tantamount to buying a Doctor Who Series 4 DVD box set and discovering the Doctor has been replaced by the guy who plays Midshipman Frame in Voyage of the Damned.
What a vomit-inducing thought.
The RSC were criticised by famous thinker and elitist Dr Jonathan Miller following David Tennant’s "stunt casting", and it would certainly seem that the current issue is highlighting that to an extent Miller was right.
If people start staying away from performances because of a lack of Tennant, then the point is proved.
Once proven, however, the point also indicates to me that a lack of lead actor – the same one that has provided the RSC with a bumper high profile year – whose name was used in the promotion of the play should be accepted by the theatre company as reasonable grounds for issuing refunds.