Rentrak are reporting that HAMLET was the top grossing box office in UK and Ireland on 15 October and, although so far having only played for one evening, is currently standing at number 3 on the week. Sales currently stand at £1.7 million with many venues still to report and encore screenings planned from 22 October.
The production, directed by Lyndsey Turner and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions was broadcast live to 87% of UK cinemas and thousands more around the world direct from the stage of the Barbican Theatre in London. The cast also includes Leo Bill (Horatio), Siân Brooke (Ophelia), Anastasia Hille (Gertrude), Ciarán Hinds (Claudius), Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Laertes) Karl Johnson (Ghost, Gravedigger) and Jim Norton (Polonius).
Prior to the broadcast Benedict Cumberbatch said “It feels truly thrilling to be opening up our theatre production of Hamlet to the wider reach of a National Theatre Live audience. The idea that people who can't get to the theatre, for whatever reason, can join us for one night in cinemas around the country - and indeed the world - is extraordinary. Each screening will doubtless have its own atmosphere, but wherever you’re watching, thanks to the brilliance of the National Theatre Live team, you’ll be right at the heart of the action, in the best seat in the house”
As a country arms itself for war, a family tears itself apart. Forced to avenge his father’s death but paralysed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state.
Benedict Cumberbatch is an international multi-award winning theatre, television and film actor. His recent stage credits for the National Theatre include After the Dance and alternating the Creature and Dr Frankenstein, in Danny Boyle's production of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for which he won the Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Best Actor awards. He is currently best known for playing the title role in the BBC’s Sherlock and will be seen next year as Richard III in The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses. His film work includes Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Star Trek into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County and the role of Smaug in The Hobbit trilogy. Cumberbatch has been nominated for BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Awards for his role playing Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.
Lyndsey Turner’s directing credits include Fathers and Sons and Philadelphia, Here I Come! for the Donmar Warehouse, Machinal for the Roundabout Theatre, Chimerica at the Almeida and in the West End, Posh for the Royal Court and in the West End, There Is A War and Edgar and Annabel for the National Theatre, Alice and The Way Of The World for Sheffield Theatres and Our Private Life, Contractions, A Miracle for the Royal Court. Turner was recently appointed as an Associate Director for the National Theatre where she directed Light Shining in Buckinghamshire in April.
Sonia Friedman Productions, is a West End and Broadway production company responsible for some of the most successful theatre productions in London and New York. Since 1990, SFP has developed, initiated and produced over 140 new productions and has won numerous Olivier and Tony Awards, winning 6 at this year’s Olivier Awards - including Best New Musical and Best New Play - and a record-breaking 14 at last year’s Olivier Awards, including the quartet of Best New Musical, Best New Play, Best Revival of a Musical and Best Revival of a Play. West End and Broadway productions include the UK premiere of The Book of Mormon, Farinelli and the King, Sunny Afternoon, Bend It Like Beckham, The Nether, The River, Electra, King Charles III, Shakespeare in Love, 1984, Ghosts, Mojo, Chimerica, Merrily We Roll Along, Old Times, Twelfth Night and Richard III, A Chorus of Disapproval, The Sunshine Boys, Hay Fever, Absent Friends, Top Girls, Betrayal, Much Ado About Nothing, Clybourne Park, The Children’s Hour, A Flea in Her Ear, La Bête, All My Sons, Private Lives, Jerusalem, A Little Night Music, Legally Blonde, Othello, Arcadia, The Mountaintop, The Norman Conquests, A View from the Bridge and La Cage aux Folles. Forthcoming productions include Jim Broadbent in A Christmas Carol, Funny Girl at the Menier Chocolate Factory and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (in association with Playground Entertainment’s Colin Callender and JK Rowling). For a full list of SFP’s theatre credits, please visit soniafriedman.com.
The full cast of HAMLET is: Barry Aird (Soldier), Eddie Arnold (Danish Captain, Servant), Leo Bill (Horatio), Siân Brooke (Ophelia), Nigel Carrington (Servant, Cornelius), Ruairi Conaghan (Player King), Benedict Cumberbatch (Hamlet), Rudi Dharmalingam (Guildenstern), Colin Haigh (Priest, Messenger), Paul Ham (Official), Diveen Henry (Player Queen, Messenger), Anastasia Hille (Gertrude), Ciarán Hinds (Claudius), Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Laertes), Karl Johnson (Ghost of Hamlet’s father), Jim Norton (Polonius), Amaka Okafor (Official), Dan Parr (Barnardo), Jan Shepherd (Courtier), Morag Siller (Voltemand), Matthew Steer (Rosencrantz), Sergo Vares (Fortinbras) and Dwane Walcott (Marcellus). Set designs are by Es Devlin with costume designs by Katrina Lindsay, video by Luke Halls, lighting by Jane Cox, music by Jon Hopkins, sound by Christopher Shutt, movement by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and fights by Bret Yount.