Acting royalty at Theatre Royal

TICKETS have gone on sale for a new take on Hamlet starring Sir Ian McKellan, as theatres start preparing to reopen, pandemic permitting.

The veteran actor is to star in an age-blind production of Shakespeare’s famous play, from Monday, June 21 at The Theatre Royal Windsor.

It will be directed by Sean Mathias, and is one two plays starring Sir Ian that the Windsor theatre will be staging: he will also appear in Martin Sherman’s adaptation of Anton Chekov’s The Cherry  Orchard.

Hamlet went into rehearsal eight months ago but could not proceed due to the UK’s second wave of Covid-19. Rehearsals have resumed, with strict measures remaining in place to ensure the safety of the company.

Sean Mathias said: “The return of British theatre from the long dark night of Covid-19 has  rightly been one of our biggest cultural conversations of the last year.

“Now, as more rays  of hope begin to appear, everyone in the industry is determined to help our precious  artform explode back into life.

“We trust that by bringing together this exceptional ensemble  to present two of the greatest plays of all time we will play our part in this revival, and on  a personal note I can’t think of a more invigorating way to mark my first season as artistic director of the Theatre Royal Windsor Season.”

And SIr Ian says: “I’ve acted in both these masterpieces before – and seen them scores  of times.

“They are in that select group of classic plays which bear, even demand, a  regular look, even reappraisal, by actors, directors, producers – and audiences.

“How can  Hamlet be played by an 80-year-old? I hope theatre-starved audiences will want to find  out.”

Hamlet will run from June 21 throughf to Saturday, September 4, 7.30pm nightly except Sundays. There will be 2.30pm matinees, with no evening performances, on Saturday, July 24 and August 21.

The Cherry Orchard runs from Firday, September 10 through to Saturday, October 23, again 7.30pm nightly except Sundays and 2.30pm matinees on Thursdays and Saturdays.

For more details, call the box office on 01753 853888 or log on to theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

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