That means Nunn will use youngsters drama-school age or younger. Hamlet will be an actor aged 18 or 19, as will the other students. Ophelia will be around 15 or 16. Nunn told the Mail that he had been inspired by a student production he’d directed when only 17 himself. He told the newspaper, “Something extraordinary happens when the characters who are students in Shakespeare’s story are being played by people of exactly student age.” Of course, life experience can make for a richer interpretation. The most successful Hamlet of recent years was Russell Beale's at the National Theatre; he was 39 at the time. The RSC’s Dane, due to brood in Stratford-Upon-Avon in July, will be Toby Stephens (who’ll be 34). Boyd’s cast will also include Sian Thomas as Gertrude and Greg Hicks as Claudius, and the RSC is currently in talks to secure a London transfer for the production.
Nunn, meanwhile, will follow the Shakespeare with another frequent, and this time living, collaborator—Andrew Lloyd Webber. He’s signed on to direct the composer’s latest musical, The Woman In White. Nunn and Lloyd Webber have previously worked together on Cats, Starlight Express, Aspects of Love and Sunset Boulevard.