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Andrew Scott in Hamlet at the Almeida Theatre (Photo: Miles Aldridge)

Andrew Scott in Hamlet at the Almeida Theatre (Photo: Miles Aldridge)

Almeida announces Hamlet For Free festival

Published 14 February 2017

The Almeida Theatre has today announced Hamlet For Free, a free festival of events and performances for anyone aged 25 and under. 

Five performances of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, directed by Almeida Associate Director Robert Icke, with Andrew Scott in the title role, will be performed exclusively for audiences aged 25 and under from Monday 10 – Thursday 13 April, with all tickets completely free. Tickets can now be booked through the venue’s website.

This includes an Audio Described and Captioned matinee performance of Hamlet for young deaf or hard of hearing and blind or visually impaired audiences, preceded by a Touch Tour, on Wednesday 12 April.

Hamlet For Free will thus offer more than 1650 young people the opportunity to see Hamlet for free, and renews the Almeida’s commitment to ensuring affordable and accessible tickets across the year, putting young people at the heart of the theatre.

Alongside the play, Hamlet For Free will feature a programme of free performances, events, and workshops inspired by the themes and making of Hamlet. The Almeida will be open from 9.30am each day during the festival with the entire building and café bar dedicated to young people.

Festival highlights include Press Go, an interactive promenade piece created in response to the themes of Hamlet which will run throughout each day of the Festival. Press Go sees a group of fearless young actors invite their audience on a journey around Islington in a murder mystery thriller where every move they make has game-changing consequences. 

Win or lose, how this story ends is entirely up to the audience. Playing in teams of two they will visit multiple locations, with the choices they make along the way affecting how their journey unfolds. Combining storytelling, gaming and the ingredients of a classic psychological thriller, Press Go is a bold, cinematic and playful alternate reality game developed in collaboration with the Almeida’s Young Producers, written by Hannah Wood of StoryJuice Ltd and directed by Christopher Elmer-Gorry. 

Jacob Anderson (aka Raleigh Ritchie) will take part in Lads Lounge, a discussion about crisis in modern masculinity, and talk about his television and music career. Jacob’s debut album ‘You’re A Man Now, Boy’ was released in 2016 and he can currently be seen on television as Greyworm in Game of Thrones.

There will also be a programme of workshops, which will provide young people with the opportunity to learn from leading industry professionals including Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold, award-winning spoken word artist Polarbear, Poet Vanessa Kisuule, stage and screen-writers Rachel De-Lahay and Vinay Patel, stage combat company RC Annie, immersive theatre-makers Coney, and members of the Hamlet cast. The Almeida technical team will demonstrate how lighting, sound and stage management come together to create a seamless performance and there will be opportunities to go behind the scenes at the Almeida to see how a production comes together.

The festival also includes Answers Back: Who The Hell’s In Charge Here?, a panel event on the themes of leadership and division explored in Hamlet, will feature a panel of young people discussing what makes a good leader and how young people can motivate social change in this period of global political unrest.

Rupert Goold, Almeida Artistic Director said: “Hamlet For Free celebrates the young people who belong at the heart of the Almeida’s community. We are delighted to be producing this entirely free festival around Robert’s production of Hamlet, harnessing the imagination and energy of the Almeida for what will be an electric four days.”

The full schedule for Hamlet For Free will be announced soon, with tickets for events available to book online from Monday 13 March.

Further tickets will go on sale to the general public for the entire run of Hamlet on Monday 20 February through the venue’s website.

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