"Great Performances" to Air David Tennant Hamlet April 28; Online Download Will Be Available

By Andrew Gans
and Mark Shenton
27 Apr 2010

Tennant in Hamlet
Tennant in Hamlet

The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Hamlet, which was filmed for BBC2 following runs at Stratford-upon-Avon and the West End's Novello Theatre, will air on WNET/Thirteen April 28 at 8 PM ET; check local listings.

Immediately following the broadcast, the film will be available online in its entirety at www.pbs.org/gperf.

David Tennant stars in the title role with Patrick Stewart as Claudius/Ghost, Penny Downie as Gertrude, Mariah Gale as Ophelia and John Woodvine as the Player King with Edward Bennett as Laertes.

Gregory Doran directed this Hamlet with designs by Robert Jones, music by Paul Englishby, movement direction by Mike Ashcroft and fight direction by Terry King.



According to previous press materials, the film version "will retain the quality and tone of the critically acclaimed stage production but filming will take place on location" to produce this 180-minute prouction. The production was produced for television by John Wyver and Sebastian Grant.

In a previous press statement, RSC artistic director Michael Boyd commented, "We are very pleased that this RSC production will be seen by so many people when broadcast. As the show was sold out for its entire run, this is a really great opportunity for our work to be seen by so many who could not come to the theatre and see it on stage."

Doran added, "Contrary to press reports at the time, the RSC always had plans to make a recording of this production but had the inevitable long journey in getting the cast together again and securing funding for this project. The Hamlet cast and the RSC are all really delighted that we now have the chance to share this show with audiences around the world, and I would like to thank all those involved in making this plan a reality at last."

The full cast comprises David Ajala (Reynaldo), Sam Alexander (Rosencrantz and Second Gravedigger), Edward Bennett (Laertes), Ricky Champ (Lucianus) Ewen Cummins (Barnardo), Robert Curtis (Fortinbras and Francisco), Tom Davey (Guildenstern), Peter De Jersey (Horatio), Penny Downie (Gertrude), Samuel Dutton (Dumbshow King and Court Attendant), Oliver Ford Davies (Polonius), Ryan Gage (Osric), Mariah Gale (Ophelia), Mark Hadfield (Gravedigger), Andrea Harris (Cornelia), Jim Hooper (Priest), Keith Osborn (Marcellus), Roderick Smith (Voltemand), Patrick Stewart (Claudius/Ghost), Riann Steele (Lady in Waiting), David Tennant (Hamlet) and Zoe Thorne (Lady in Waiting) and John Woodvine (Player King).

Hamlet aired in the U.K. on Boxing Day in 2009, and more than 900,000 viewers tuned in for the BBC broadcast.