The Royal Shakespeare Company's award-winning production of Hamlet, directed by RSC Chief
Associate Director Gregory Doran, and with David Tennant in the title role, will premiere on BBC Two later this year.
Produced by Illuminations, the screen version of Shakespeare's great tragedy will retain the quality and tone
of the critically acclaimed stage production but filming will take place on location. All key original members of the cast,
including Patrick Stewart as Claudius, are confirmed to star in this special 180 minute production, alongside the same creative
RSC Artistic Director Michael Boyd said; “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.”
Filming begins in June for broadcast later this year on BBC Two. Broadcasts in the US and Japan will follow
in 2010. Illuminations previously worked with Doran and the RSC on the filmed version of Macbeth with Antony Sher
and Harriet Walter. Chris Seager will be in post as Director of Photography; Robert Jones, who designed the stage production,
will also design the film and, as on stage, the music is composed by Paul Englishby, the movement director is Mike Ashcroft
and the fight director is Terry King.
John Wyver is the producer for Illuminations and Bethan Jones is Executive Producer for BBC Wales. The project
was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning and George Entwistle, Controller, BBC Knowledge Commissioning.
The director Gregory Doran said “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”
Janice Hadlow, Controller BBC Two said “It's a wonderful opportunity to bring one of the great stage
successes of last year to a wider audience.”
To support the new film of Hamlet, a rich online BBC site is being created in collaboration with
the RSC. It will feature behind-the-scenes stills and footage; specially shot interviews with the actors talking about their
characters and how they've approached the play; further interviews, with the director and other key backstage personnel; and
a comprehensive range of links through to the full depth of BBC Learning's content on Shakespeare and RSC Education's content
on Shakespeare in performance.
George Entwistle, Controller, BBC Knowledge Commissioning said "We hope we can use our experience in building
compelling online sites to encourage a large TV audience to pursue their interest in Hamlet and Shakespeare as far
as possible, off the back of a superb TV version of the play."