Yup, you heard it – not so much hot on the heels of Andrew Scott’s acclaimed ‘Hamlet’ as literally running at same time, Tom Hiddleston is to give his take on the Bard’s Dane next month, in a production directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh.
What’s the catch? Well quite a big one, actually. ‘Hamlet’ will run as a fundraiser for RADA, and tickets for the show – which runs in the famous drama school’s 160-seat Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre from Sep 1-Sep 23 – will only be available by public ballot at www.radahamlet.com.
The ballot opens at noon on August 1 (ie today) and closes at 6pm on August 6. You can also enter by phone if you really want to: lines are open 10am-5pm from noon today to August 5 at 5pm – dial 01223 357 851. On August 8 you will be notified if you’ve won and will have 48 hours on August 9 and 10 to purchase up to two tickets.
Twenty percent of tickets will be earmarked for the under-25s and cost £15; the rest will cost £45 and £95.
Hiddleston will be joined by a cast of RADA alumni, and the money raised will go towards a new library and enhanced archive. The aim is to convert the listed Drill Hall to become a flexible, 250-seat public theatre, named after Richard Attenborough.
Quoth T Hiddy:
‘“Hamlet” presents almost limitless possibilities for interpretation. I can’t wait to explore them, with this great cast, at RADA. Kenneth Branagh and I have long talked about working on the play together and now felt like the right time, at the right place. To be guided through it by him as a director, an expert and a friend, is our great good fortune. The performing arts exist to bring people together, not to break or keep them apart. I hope the funds raised by the production will help RADA continue to provide a wider field of equal opportunity to train actors, stage managers and technical theatre artists, from every background, to a standard of excellence and professionalism. We need to keep the doors open for everyone.’
There will be no press tickets (!!), so we’ll be signing ourselves up too – GOOD LUCK.