04:00PM, Saturday 27 March 2021
The first new major UK production to be staged following lockdown will take place right on our doorstep at the Theatre Royal Windsor.
Tickets for Hamlet went on sale at the weekend starring Sir Ian McKellen and were met with a ‘phenomenal response’ according to the theatre.
The age-blind interpretation of the young prince with integrated casting will open on June 21.
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.
It will be one of the first major productions to open with non-restricted seating since theatres went dark just over a year ago.
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.”
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.
Sir 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 21 at 7.30pm.”
Tickets start at £25.
Visit www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk for more information.