Page last updated at 17:57 GMT, Wednesday, 3 June 2009 18:57 UK

This week on Newsnight Review

In this Friday's Newsnight Review, man is under attack from vampires, robots and his own inner demons. Kirsty is joined by Guardian columnist and writer Marina Hyde, academic John Carey and film critic and author Joe Queenan to look at Jude Law's Hamlet, Terminator Salvation and the rise of vampires in popular culture.

Jude Law and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Hamlet

Jude Law stars as the Danish prince in Michael Grandage's new production of the Shakespeare tragedy.

The production is the last in the Donmar's season in the West End and the cast includes Penelope Wilton as his mother Gertrude, Kevin R McNally as his uncle and step-father Claudius and Ron Cook as Claudius' aide Polonius.

With the recent news that David Tennant's performance of Hamlet is to be reprised for a BBC Two television production, we ask are we in a golden age for Shakespeare or are producers playing it safe, giving audiences recognisable plays with famous names in the lead parts?

We will also be taking a wider look at Shakespeare on stage by previewing The Bridge Project, where A Winter's Tale is played in rep with The Cherry Orchard under the direction of Sam Mendes, which is currently underway at the Old Vic.

Hamlet contines at the Wyndhams Theatre, London until 22 August 2009.


The Strain

Vampire fiction is enjoying an upsurge in popularity across art forms.

Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series of novels still dominate the children's bestseller lists. American TV series True Blood, which will screen in the UK from July, picked up a Golden Globe this year and its success was swiftly followed by the announcement of another show, The Vampire Diaries.

At the cinema the small Swedish film Let the Right One in has enjoyed box office success, the second Twilight adaptation is due out later this year and Blood: The Last Vampire is about to hit screens.

This week, director of the film Pan's Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro, talks to us about the first of his planned trilogy of vampire novels, called The Strain. Written with Chuck Hogan, the book follows disgraced doctor Ephraim Goodweather and his motley team of helpers as a mysterious vampire virus begins to sweep through New York.

The panel discuss The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Let the Right One in and ask why vampires are so popular at the moment? Has it all sprung from a teenage craze or is there something deeper at play?

Read an interview with Guillermo del Toro

The Strain is published by HarperCollins. Let the Right One In continues in cinemas and is released on DVD on 3 August. The True Blood series starts on the FX Channel on 17 July.


Terminator Salvation poster

Director McG (Charlie's Angels) presents the fourth film in the Terminator series, starring Christian Bale as resistance leader John Connor.

Set in post-apocalyptic 2018, John Connor battles Skynet and its army of terminators to save the human race, uncovering in the process a terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind.

Earlier this year, McG expressed his determination to revive the franchise and the new film features a cameo from Arnold Schwarzenegger, star of the 1984 original. Does the concept have the same power as in the days of the computer boom or have we made peace with our robot fears?

Terminator Salvation is on general release.

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