A new production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, directed by Sean Mathias with Ian McKellen in an age-blind interpretation of the young Prince, will go into rehearsals on Monday 29 June.
Produced by Bill Kenwright, Hamlet will herald Sean Mathias’ inaugural season at Theatre Royal Windsor and will be followed by Martin Sherman’s adaptation of Anton Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard, with McKellen as Firs the elderly manservant.
This is the first major UK production to begin rehearsals since theatres went dark in March in accordance with government guidelines to stem the spread of COVID-19.
However, rehearsals are now able to start with strict measures in place to ensure the safety of the company. The schedule, from 29 June, will be carefully choreographed around social distancing, screening, hygiene, and PPE, with close adherence to the latest government guidelines. There will be a daily review of the protection protocol based on practical considerations learnt in the rehearsal room. If the show can’t yet go on, rehearsals at least will.