Tom Hiddleston is to follow in the footsteps of his good friend Benedict Cumberbatch and play Hamlet on the London stage.
The Thor and Night Manager star will take on one of Shakespeare’s best known roles to help raise £20 million to regenerate RADA’s Chenies Street site in London in a production that will run for just three weeks.
The adaptation will be directed by Hiddleston’s Thor colleague Kenneth Branagh whose Olivier Award-winning theatre company will join forces with RADA for the co-production. The play will be staged from 1st to 23rd September 2017 at RADA’s 160-seat Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre. .
“Hamlet presents almost limitless possibilities for interpretation,” said Hiddleston. “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. To be guided through it by him as a director, an expert and a friend, is our great good fortune.
“The performing arts exist to bring people together, not to break or keep them apart. I hope the funds raised by the production will help RADA continue to provide a wider field of equal opportunity to train actors, stage managers and technical theatre artists, from every background, to a standard of excellence and professionalism. We need to keep the doors open for everyone.”
“I believe Shakespeare and RADA are very good things,” added Branagh. “This production celebrates both. We bring actors, writers, directors and technicians from last year’s KBTC Garrick season, and team them with RADA graduates past and present, together with artists from the larger creative world to explore Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
“The play speaks as loudly as ever to our volatile world and we are proud to have Tom Hiddleston lead an exciting group of actors, as he plays the title role for the first time. This work has been in discussion and planning over a period of years. To find its expression at, with, and for RADA, is a privilege.”
Also appearing in the production are Ayesha Antoine (Rosencrantz / Bernarda), Lolita Chakrabarti (Queen Gertrude), Nicholas Farrell (King Claudius), Sean Foley (Polonius / Osric), 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).
A ballot for tickets will open at midday on 1st August and will close at 6pm on Sunday 6th August. Tickets will then be allocated at random with successful applicants given the chance to purchase a maximum of two tickets within the alloted 48-hour booking window.