The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company present William Shakespeare’s HAMLET | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company present William Shakespeare’s HAMLET

01 August 2017




Kenneth Branagh’s Olivier Award-winning theatre company will join forces with RADA for a co-production of Hamlet, to support the transformation of RADA’s Chenies Street site in London, further developing the Academy as a world-leader in dramatic arts training.

The production will feature RADA alumnus Tom Hiddleston in the title role and will play a strictly limited three week run at RADA’s 160-seat Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre from 1-23 September 2017.

All funds raised will support the RADA Attenborough Campaign, which aims to raise £20million, enabling the regeneration of the Academy’s Chenies Street premises.

RADA’s new premises will provide RADA’s first on-site accommodation for students. RADA already supports 70% of students on its core programmes financially, and such new accommodation will further remove financial barriers to training.

The regeneration, which will also include a new library and enhanced archive, will convert the listed Drill Hall to become a flexible, 250 seat public theatre, named the Richard Attenborough Theatre.



The acting company and creative team are made up from members of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company and RADA. They are Ayesha Antoine (Rosencrantz / Bernarda), Lolita Chakrabarti (Queen Gertrude), Nicholas Farrell (King Claudius), Sean Foley (Polonius / Osric), Tom Hiddleston (Hamlet), Ansu Kabia (King Hamlet / Player King / Gravedigger), Caroline Martin (Horatia), Eleanor de Rohan (Guildastern / Marcella / Priest), Irfan Shamji (Laertes / Player Queen) and Kathryn Wilder (Ophelia). Hamlet will be designed by James Cotterill with lighting design by Paul Pyant (both RADA graduates) and sound design by Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid. Lucy Bevan and Emily Brockmann are casting directors for the production.

RADA and the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company are also delighted to work with colleagues from many other parts of the industry, as well as current RADA Technical Theatre Arts Students.

To ensure that the ticket release is fair, a ballot will open at midday on 1 August, which can be entered online until 6pm on Sunday 6 August, and by phone from midday on 1 August until 5pm on 5 August (lines are open daily 10am – 5pm). Successful applicants shall be notified by or on 8 August and will then have 48 hours to book their tickets on 9-10 August.

Selected at random, all successful ballot applicants are guaranteed the opportunity to purchase a maximum of two tickets within the allotted 48 hour booking window. Tickets for specific dates however cannot be guaranteed and all dates are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Purchases will be limited to a maximum of two per person across all performances. No tickets to be sold by third parties and resale of tickets is strictly prohibited. To help prevent the chance of resale, customers will only be able to collect their tickets on the day of the performance (60 mins before the show begins). Bookers must bring relevant documentation to collect their tickets, and photo identification will be required for under-25s bookers to gain access to the auditorium.

Additionally, no returns shall be offered for the production. Consequently there will be neither a returns queue, nor day tickets available to purchase for Hamlet at the RADA box office in person or online.

Twenty percent of tickets will be priced at £15 and are only available to audiences aged 25 and under. A further twenty percent will be priced at £45, with the remaining tickets at £95.

As this is a fundraising event, the decision has been taken to offer no free tickets to media. Any journalist wishing to purchase a ticket will be able to enter the ballot. This is in an attempt to create a level playing field and to raise as much money as possible for the RADA Attenborough Campaign.

Edward Kemp, Director of RADA, said “We’re thrilled that Kenneth Branagh returns to RADA to work with graduates of the Academy in support of our capital campaign. At RADA our close links with the industry are a vital part of the training, and we’re committed to maintaining these links in an ever-changing industry. This is a wonderful opportunity for actors from our graduating third year, as well as our current technical theatre and stage management students, to work alongside immensely talented professionals – forming a collaboration of artists that brings together a wealth of experience and exuberant young talent.”

Kenneth Branagh said "I believe Shakespeare and RADA are very good things. This production celebrates both. We bring actors, writers, directors and technicians from last year’s KBTC Garrick season, and team them with RADA graduates past and present, together with artists from the larger creative world to explore Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The play speaks as loudly as ever to our volatile world and we are proud to have Tom Hiddleston lead an exciting group of actors, as he plays the title role for the first time. This work has been in discussion and planning over a period of years. To find its expression at, with, and for RADA, is a privilege.”

Tom Hiddleston said "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.”


HAMLET By William Shakespeare

Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre
Malet Street

Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm from 1 – 23 September

Matinees at 2.30pm on 2, 9, 16, 23 September

Box Office (Cambridge Live) 01223 357 851

Tickets £95, £45 and £15 for under-25s
No credit card or booking fees

Accessible seating is available at all performances.

The run will also include accessible performances, details of which will be announced shortly; patrons are encouraged to provide access requirements when registering for the ticket ballot.



Hamlet at RADA is kindly supported by:

Champagne Partner

Technology Partners

Wardrobe Partner

About RADA
The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) offers vocational training for actors, stage managers and technical theatre artists. RADA was established in 1904 and has since built an outstanding reputation as a world-renowned centre of excellence, offering the best possible facilities, exceptional teaching and strong links with the industries that employ its graduates. RADA’s student population is a diverse community, united by a shared passion for theatre-making. RADA prides itself both on the professional standard of their student productions and on their track-record of employment in theatre, film and television.

RADA is committed to finding talent wherever it may exist and to increasing opportunities for training through almost £500,000 in scholarships a year.

RADA figures 2015-16 – based on BA Acting course

• 27% of students are from black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds
• 74% of UK students receive some kind of financial aid, including meal vouchers
• 39% of UK students (new to HE) have a household income of below £25k
• 54% of UK students (new to HE) have a household income of below £43k

Supporting talent

For nearly a decade, Warner Bros. Entertainment has been RADA’s Principal Partner. The Partnership includes supporting a number of acting and technical theatre arts students through Warner Bros. Creative Talent programme: a key part of the Studio’s commitment to investing in the next generation of talent. This includes financial assistance through scholarships, as well as masterclasses and mentorship opportunities, where students are connected with an executive mentor to help them navigate the entertainment industry. Warner Bros. Entertainment also generously supports RADA's screen acting training as part of the partnership.

About The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company
The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company opened its inaugural year-long season, Plays at the Garrick, in October 2015. Working in collaboration with artistic associates Rob Ashford and Christopher Oram, Kenneth Branagh presented a seven-play West End residency that featured an acting company led by a remarkable group performers including Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, Rob Brydon, Lily James, Richard Madden, Zoë Wanamaker, Meera Syal and Adrian Lester.

In collaboration with Picturehouse Entertainment (now Trafalgar Releasing), Branagh Theatre Live saw several productions from the Plays at the Garrick season broadcast to cinemas internationally, bringing unmissable theatre to more than 445,000 people across 37 countries and five continents. The live broadcast of The Winter’s Tale topped the UK cinema box office.

Now in its third year, the Olivier Award-winning Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company is to join forces with RADA and co-produce Hamlet, which will star RADA graduate Tom Hiddleston and will be directed by RADA President Kenneth Branagh. The production will raise funds to support the transformation of RADA’s Chenies Street site in London, further developing the Academy as a world-leader in training.

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