"Discovering Hamlet," Documentary Featuring Kenneth Branagh and Derek Jacobi, Will Make DVD Debut

News   "Discovering Hamlet," Documentary Featuring Kenneth Branagh and Derek Jacobi, Will Make DVD Debut
"Discovering Hamlet," a 1990 documentary about Kenneth Branagh's first professional performance in the title role of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, will make its DVD debut in a two-disc set Feb. 1.

The documentary, directed by Mark Olshaker and Larry Klein, is narrated by Patrick Stewart and also features Derek Jacobi, who directed Branagh in the 1988 Hamlet production documented in the film. Jacobi later appeared as Claudius, opposite Branagh's Hamlet, in Branagh's 1996 film version of the complete play. The Athena DVD release will also boast more than three hours of bonus features, including a 2010 interview with Jacobi; behind-the-scenes footage, cast and crew interviews, and extended production interviews with Jacobi; a 12-page viewer’s guide with an introduction by director Mark Olshaker, a history of the Renaissance Theatre Company, critical reactions to the production, and an article on Hamlet’s textual challenges; and other bonus features.

According to press notes, the film "documents how these two intelligent, passionate men found new depths in Shakespeare’s classic drama. … Filmmakers Mark Olshaker and Larry Klein follow the company through four weeks of rehearsals, from the first read-throughs to opening night. Interviews with principal actors—as well as the set designer, costume supervisor, text advisor, and others—reveal how each member of the company meets the production’s challenges. In all, 'Discovering Hamlet' offers an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the process of staging Shakespeare’s most demanding tragedy."

The DVD of "Discovering Hamlet" will retail for $39.99.

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