Kenneth Branagh will direct Tom Hiddleston in the titular role of Hamlet as the Olivier Award-winning Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company join forces with RADA in a fundraising co-production.
Supporting the transformation of RADA’s Chenies Street site in London, further developing the Academy as a world-leader in dramatic arts training, former RADA alumnus Hiddleston will portray one of Shakespeare’s most famous characters as the show plays a strictly limited three week run at RADA’s 160-seat Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre from 1-23 September 2017.
Nicholas Farrell, Ansu Kabia, Lolita Chakrabarti, Kathryn Wilder, Tom Hiddleston, Ayesha Antoine, Sean Foley, Caroline Martin, Irfan Shamji and Eleanor de Rohan at RADA
The acting company and creative team are made up from members of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company and RADA: Ayesha Antoine (Rosencrantz / Bernarda), Lolita Chakrabarti (Queen Gertrude), Nicholas Farrell (King Claudius), Sean Foley (Polonius / Osric), Tom Hiddleston (Hamlet), Ansu Kabia (King Hamlet / Player King / Gravedigger), Caroline Martin (Horatia), Eleanor de Rohan (Guildastern / Marcella / Priest), Irfan Shamji (Laertes / Player Queen) and Kathryn Wilder (Ophelia).
Hamlet will be designed by James Cotterill, with lighting design by Paul Pyant (both RADA graduates), and sound design by Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid. Lucy Bevan and Emily Brockmann are casting directors for the production.
All funds raised will support the RADA Attenborough Campaign, which aims to raise £20million, enabling the regeneration of the Academy’s Chenies Street premises and in turn providing RADA’s first on-site accommodation for students to further remove financial barriers to training.
The regeneration, which will also include a new library and enhanced archive, will convert the listed Drill Hall to become a flexible, 250 seat public theatre, named the Richard Attenborough Theatre.
Theatre fans eager to purchase tickets can enter a ballot, which will ensure that the ticket release is fair. The ballot will open at midday today (Tuesday 1 August), and can be entered online until 6pm on Sunday 6 August, and by phone from midday on 1 August until 5pm on 5 August. Successful applicants will be notified by or on 8 August, and will then have 48 hours to book a maximum of two tickets on 9-10 August.
Twenty percent of tickets will be priced at £15 and are only available to audiences aged 25 and under (with photo identification required). A further twenty percent will be priced at £45, with the remaining tickets at £95.
Kenneth Branagh said: “I believe Shakespeare and RADA are very good things. This production celebrates both.”
Tom Hiddleston added: “Hamlet presents almost limitless possibilities for interpretation. I can’t wait to explore them, with this great cast, at RADA. Kenneth Branagh and I have long talked about working on the play together, and now felt like the right time, at the right place.”
For more information, please visit the production’s website.