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Hamlet to be broadcast live to cinemas worldwide 15th October 2015

Hamlet at The Barbican
Hamlet at The Barbican 2015
Photographer Tim Gutt, Poster Art Direction Shona Heath.

Benedict Cumberbatch will play the title role in Lyndsey Turner’s production of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and presented by the Barbican. Announced today that Hamlet will be broadcast to cinemas around the world on Thursday 15th October 2015 as part of National Theatre Live.

The National Theatre’s innovative project, NT Live, broadcasts plays live from the stage to over 550 cinemas in the UK and over 44 countries internationally. Tickets for the Hamlet NT LIVE will go on sale on 16th March 2015. Details of all screenings can be found at ntlive.com

With set designs by Es Devlin and video design by Luke Halls, Hamlet begins its 12-week run at the Barbican Theatre on 5th August 2015, with opening night on 25th August at 7pm. The twelve week limited run will conclude on 31st October 2015. The run of Hamlet is currently sold out; however, details of how to purchase the 100 tickets at £10 for each performance will be announced late spring. In addition, from time to time, small numbers of tickets may be returned for advance sale online. Further casting and details for this production will be announced at a later date.

As a country arms itself for war, a family tears itself apart. Forced to avenge his father’s death but paralysed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state.

Benedict Cumberbatch is an international multi-award winning theatre, television and film actor. His recent stage credits, both for the National Theatre, are After the Dance and alternating both the creature and Dr Frankenstein, in Danny Boyle’s production of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for which he won the Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Best Actor awards. Also, a critically-acclaimed television actor, he is currently best known for playing the title role in the BBC’s Sherlock and will be seen next year as Richard III in The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses. His film work includes Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Star Trek into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County and the role of Smaug in The Hobbit trilogy. Cumberbatch has been nominated for a BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Award for his role playing Alan Turing in The Imitation Game which opened The 2014 BFI London Film Festival.

Hamlet rehearsal photos with Benedict Cumberbatch

Hamlet at The Barbican

Lyndsey Turner’s directing credits include Fathers and Sons and Philadelphia, Here I Come! for the Donmar Warehouse, Machinal for the Roundabout Theatre, Chimerica at the Almeida and in the West End, Posh for the Royal Court and in the West End, There Is A War and Edgar and Annabel for the National Theatre, Alice and The Way Of The World for Sheffield Theatres and Our Private Life, Contractions, A Miracle for the Royal Court. Turner was recently appointed as an Associate Director for the National Theatre where she will direct Light Shining in Buckinghamshire in April.

Sonia Friedman Productions, founded in 2002, is a West End and Broadway production company responsible for some of the most successful theatre productions in London and on Broadway over the past few years. SFP has developed, initiated and produced over 140 new productions and has won numerous Olivier and Tony Awards®, including a record-breaking 14 at the 2014 Olivier Awards (Best New Musical, Best New Play, Best Revival of a Musical and Best Revival of a Play, among others). Their recent West End and Broadway theatre productions and co-productions include: the UK premiere of The Book of Mormon, Jez Butterworth’s The River on Broadway, starring Hugh Jackman, Sunny Afternoon, Shakespeare in Love, The Nether, Electra, King Charles III, Jerusalem, Ghosts, Mojo, Chimerica, Twelfth Night & Richard III and Old Times. In addition to SFP’s theatre projects Sonia is also Executive Producer, alongside Playground Entertainment, on the up-coming television adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser starring Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen, to be directed by Richard Eyre for the BBC. She is also a co-producer on the six-part mini-series adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall for the BBC and Masterpiece co-produced with Playground Entertainment and Company Pictures.

Full casting announced for Lyndsey Turner’s production of Hamlet

National Theatre Live is an initiative by the National Theatre to broadcast live performances onto cinema screens around the world. Since its first season, which began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phédre starring Helen Mirren, almost 4 million people have now experienced the work of National Theatre Live in cinemas worldwide. In addition to the record-breaking broadcast of The Audience starring Helen Mirren as The Queen (winner of two 2013 Olivier Awards, including the Best Actress award for Mirren), recent broadcasts have included the Manchester International Festival production of Macbeth with Kenneth Branagh in the title role, Nicholas Hytner’s acclaimed production of Othello with Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear, the Donmar Warehouse production of Coriolanus with Tom Hiddleston, in the title role, the Young Vic’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire with Gillian Anderson and Skylight from the West End with Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan.

Theatre: Barbican Theatre, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS
Dates: 5th August 2015 – 31st October 2015
Performances: Monday – Saturday 7.15pm, Saturday matinees 1.30pm
Opening night: 25 August at 7pm


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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