RSC Hamlet

RSC's Hamlet starring Paapa Essiedu to air on BBC Four on 21 June

The production will be aired as part of the network's Culture in Quarantine series.

The Royal Shakespeare Company's 2016 production of Hamlet will air on BBC Four at 9PM on 21 June as part of BBC's Culture in Quarantine series. 

The production, directed by Simon Godwin and starring Paapa Essiedu in the titular role, was first performed at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2016 for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. In 2018, the production toured the UK and played the Kennedy Center in D.C. with Essiedu at the helm.

"I wanted to find a context where, as a character, Hamlet could feel dislocated, where he could feel conflicted by the demands of his ancestors against the pressure to find a new way of thinking...I began to imagine a Denmark re-conceived as modern state influenced by the ritual, beauty and cosmology of West Africa," Godwin said.

The creative team also included design by Paul Wills, lighting by Paul Anderson, music by Sola Akingbola, Sound by Christopher Shutt, movement by Mbuelo Ndabeni, and fights by Kev McCurdy

The Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Much Ado About Nothing (2014), Othello (2015), and The Merchant of Venice will also be broadcast on BBC Four in the coming weeks. Shakespeare fans can also stream the following six Culture in Quarantine productions at any time via BBC-IPlayer.

  • Hamlet (2016, directed by Simon Godwin, with Paapa Essiedu in the title role)

  • Macbeth (2018, directed by Polly Findlay, with Christopher Ecclestone in the title role and Niamh Cusack as Lady Macbeth)

  • Much Ado About Nothing (2014, directed by Christopher Luscombe, with Edward Bennett as Benedick and Michelle Terry as Beatrice)

  • Othello (2015, directed by Iqbal Khan, with Hugh Quarshie in the title role and Lucian Msamati as Iago)

  • Romeo and Juliet (2018, directed by Erica Whyman, RSC Deputy Artistic Director, with Bally Gill as Romeo and Karen Fishwick as Juliet)

  • The Merchant of Venice (2015, directed by Polly Findlay, with Makram J. Khoury as Shylock).


Originally published on

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