Sean Mathias’ reimagined production of ‘Hamlet’ starring Ian McKellen to open Theatre Royal Windsor’s inaugural Summer Season!

The Theatre Royal Windsor has today announced plans for its inaugural Summer Season, which will open with a new production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, starring Ian McKellen in an age-blind interpretation of the young Prince.

Directed by Sean Mathias, this reimagined, age, colour and gender-blind production will be one of the first major live theatre productions to be staged in the UK following lockdown, and will open at the Theatre Royal Windsor on 21 June 2021.

Produced by Bill Kenwright, Hamlet heralds 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.

The full company will include: Ben Allen, Francesca Annis, Steven Berkoff, Emmanuella Cole, Llinos Daniel, Alis Wyn Davies, Ashley D Gayle, Nick Howard-Brown, Jonathan Hyde, Asif Khan, Lee Knight, Missy Malek, Ian McKellen and Jenny Seagrove.

Sir Ian McKellen. Photo by Jack McGuire

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. Rehearsals will start again next week, with strict measures remaining in place to ensure the safety of the company.

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