If you can’t wait for David Tennant or Jude Law’s Prince of Denmark, both of whom will hit London over the next 18 months (See News, 11 Sep 2007), get yourself to Bristol quick for director Jonathan Miller’s latest production of Hamlet, which opens this week as part of the city’s annual “Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory” season (See The Goss, 13 Jul 2007).

The new production, Miller’s fourth go at Shakespeare’s tragedy, runs from 20 March to 3 May 2008. It features Jamie Ballard in the title role, joined by Francesca Ryan as Gertrude (a role previously tipped for Joanna Lumley), Jay Villiers as Claudius, Annabel Scholey as Ophelia and Oliver le Sueur as Laertes.

Miller is the first guest director invited to be part of “Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory”. Hamlet follows artistic director Andrew Hilton’s production of The Taming of the Shrew, which ended its run this past weekend.

Since launching his early career with Beyond the Fringe, alongside Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett, Jonathan Miller (pictured) has become one of the world’s leading opera directors, with myriad credits at English National Opera and Glyndebourne as well as internationally. Last year, he returned to straight theatre after a ten-year absence with a Sheffield Crucible revival of The Cherry Orchard, starring Joanna Lumley (See News, 4 Aug 2006).

- by Terri Paddock