Theatre Royal Windsor
21 June 2021 - 4 September 2021
In Rep with THE CHERRY ORCHARD 10 September 2021 - 23 October 2021
Produced by Bill Kenwright
Directed by Sean Mathias
McKellen as Hamlet
The Cast includes
Francesca Annis (Ghost / Ranevskaya)
Steven Berkoff (Polonius)
Emmanuella Cole (Laertes)
Alis Wyn Davies (Ophelia)
Ashley D Gayle
Ian McKellen (Hamlet / Firs)
Jenny Seagrove (Gertrude)
Designed by Lee Newby
Costume design by Loren Elstein
Lighting Design by Zoe Spurr
Composition and sound design by Adam Cork.
THE SHOW WILL GO ON:
HAMLET REHEARSALS began
MONDAY 29 JUNE
2020 but performances were postponed.
REHEARSALS RESUMED MONDAY 22 MARCH 2021
PREVIEWS BEGIN 21 JUNE 2021
A new production of Shakespeare's Hamlet, directed by Sean Mathias with Ian McKellen in an age-blind interpretation of the young Prince, will go into rehearsals on Monday 22 March 2021, with strict measures remaining in place to ensure the safety of the company.
This will be one of the first major new productions to open to hopefully non-restricted seating since theatres went dark just over a year ago, in accordance with government guidelines to stem the spread of COVID-19.
The production actually went into rehearsal eight months ago but could not proceed when new restrictions were put in place due to the UK's second wave of COVID-19.
Produced by Bill Kenwright, Hamlet will herald Sean Mathias' inaugural season at Theatre Royal Windsor and will be followed by Martin Sherman's adaptation of Anton Chekov's The Cherry Orchard, with McKellen as Firs the elderly manservant.
Sean Mathias said: "The return of British theatre from the long dark night of COVID 19 has rightly been one of our biggest cultural conversations of the last year. Now, as more rays of hope begin to appear, everyone in the industry is determined to help our precious artform explode back into life. We trust that by bringing together this exceptional ensemble to present two of the greatest plays of all time we will play our part in this revival, and on a personal note I can't think of a more invigorating way to mark my first season as artistic director of the Theatre Royal Windsor Season."
Ian McKellen said: "I've acted in both these masterpieces before — and seen them scores of times. They are in that select group of classic plays which bear, even demand, a regular look, even reappraisal, by actors, directors, producers — and audiences. How can Hamlet be played by an 80 year old? I hope theatre-starved audiences will want to find out! "
Bill Kenwright said: "Sean, Ian and I started this journey, during the first lockdown last summer. At that time it was not to be, but while we will continue to work in steadfast accordance with government and scientific guidelines, and the safety of all our priority, we are hugely optimistic that our rehearsals will lead us to a pretty historic opening on June 21st at 7:30pm."
Director: Sean Mathias; Set Designer: Lee Newby; Costume Designer: Loren Elstein; Lighting Designer: Jamie Platt; Composer and Sound Designer: Adam Cork.