News: Hamlet reimagined for young audiences at the National Theatre

Hamlet’s dad is dead. His uncle has taken over the kingdom and married Hamlet’s mum. The whole world feels like it’s turned upside down.

A ghostly encounter reveals a dreadful deed has been done. Should Hamlet take revenge?

An energetic retelling of Shakespeare’s most well-known tragedy to introduce young audiences to the world of Shakespeare will be running at the Dorfman Theatre from 30 March – 9 April 2020.

This version is adapted for audiences aged 8-12 by Jude Christian (othellomacbeth, Cinderella) and directed by Tinuke Craig (The Colour Purple, Vassa).

Hamlet opens at the National Theatre following a six-week tour to state primary and secondary schools across Greater London from 10 February, collectively reaching over 6,000 pupils as part of the NT’s commitment to introducing children and young people to theatre. Education packages to support teaching of the production are available for primary schools and include workshops, training and teacher resources.

Director Tinuke Craig said: “It’s so important that children from all backgrounds feel that the arts are open to them to participate in and enjoy, and it’s a privilege to make work for the next generation. The challenge of taking one of the greatest works in the canon and distilling it to an hour long play for 8-12 year olds is a big one. Not only do we have the task of creating an engaging production for an audience, but we also have a responsibility to introduce younger audiences to theatre, bringing productions to their home turf to provide an early, or often first, experience of Shakespeare that is welcoming, inclusive, exciting and fun”.

The cast includes Nathan Armarkwei-Laryea, Islam Bouakkaz, Guy Burgess, Ashley Gerlach, Anna-Kate Golding, Alison Halstead, Kat Ronney and Alisha Williams.

The production is designed by Frankie Bradshaw with lighting designed by Paul Knott. Sound is designed by Clark Henry-Brown. The Movement Director is Morgann Runacre-Temple and Fight Director is Lisa Connell. Music is composed and directed by Sarah Taylor Ellis.

NT Learning supports primary teachers across the UK to inspire creative learning and ensure drama and theatre-making remains a key part of a broad education. State schools can now sign up to National Theatre Collection to access the best of British theatre in the classroom for free. Let’s Play provides everything that teachers need to make an outstanding piece of theatre. To find out more about these opportunities visit NT Learning.

A sensory adapted performance will take place on Wednesday 8 April, 2pm. Following this performance there will be a meet and greet with the cast of Hamlet.

The National Theatre’s Partner for Learning is Bank of America.

Primary schools touring is supported by: The Mohn Westlake Foundation, The Hearn Foundation, The Ingram Trust, The Constance Travis Charitable Trust, Archie Sherman Charitable Trust, The Behrens Foundation, Cleopatra Trust, The Dorset Foundation, Jill and David Leuw, Mulberry Trust, Sherling Charitable Trust, and The Topinambour Trust.

Tickets are now available from www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/hamlet

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