Sir Ian McKellen to play Hamlet in new age-blind production, directed by Sean Mathias!

A new production of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, HAMLET, directed by Sean Mathias and starring Sir Ian McKellen in an age-blind interpretation of the young Prince, will go into rehearsals on Monday 29 June 2020.

The cast will also include: Ben Allen, Emmanuella Cole, Alis Wyn Davies, Oli Higginson, Nick Howard-Brown, Jonathan Hyde, Asif Khan, Missy Malek and Jenny Seagrove.

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.

There are no confirmed performance dates announced just yet, but Theatre Royal Windsor have said “The season will immediately precede the welcome return of our annual traditional pantomime – Cinderella, which this year will have a slightly later opening date. Performance dates and tickets will be released as soon as we have government guidance on how and when we can safely reopen Theatre Royal Windsor.

This is the first major UK production to begin rehearsals since theatres went dark in March in accordance with government guidelines to stem the spread of COVID-19.

However, rehearsals are now able to start with strict measures in place to ensure the safety of the company. The schedule, from 29 June, will be carefully choreographed around social distancing, screening, hygiene, and PPE, with close adherence to the latest government guidelines. There will be a daily review of the protection protocol based on practical considerations learnt in the rehearsal room. If the show can’t yet go on, rehearsals at least will.


Sean Mathias said:

“I have always been a fan of ensemble work so when Bill Kenwright asked me to be his Artistic Director at Windsor I saw a perfect opportunity to create a company and direct two of the greatest plays ever written. The disappointment at being halted by COVID 19 has now been replaced with encouraging signs that we can at least start to work on these beautiful plays with an exceptional company. We walk a tight rope through the forest whilst we await news of when we may actually perform in front of a live audience, but it will be invigorating to leave the house and get into a rehearsal room and be a part of British Theatre returning to the boards.”


The creative team includes: Set Designer Lee Newby; Costume Designer Loren Elstein; Lighting Designer Jamie Platt; and Composer and Sound Designer Adam Cork.

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