After the Jude Law and David Tennant Great Dane announcements this week (See News, 11 Sep 2007), we were intrigued to read in yesterday’s Guardian that Stephen Dillane would be following Law and Tennant’s lead with his own Hamlet, directed by former Donmar Warehouse artistic director Sam Mendes, “on the horizon” at the Old Vic.

In fact, the announcement of Dillane’s Hamlet preceded Law’s and Tennant’s by more than five months (See News, 3 Apr 2007) – and the announcement of its cancellation by nearly two (See News, 20 Jul 2007)! It and The Tempest, both starring Dillane, were due to launch the Bridge Project - a three-year transatlantic venture forged between Mendes, the Old Vic and New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) – next year, opening in New York in January, then transferring to the Old Vic next May (three months before Tennant’s go at “to be or not be” and a full year before Law’s).

But the productions were cancelled when Dillane withdrew because of a family illness, and the entire Bridge Project has been postponed until 2009 when Mendes will direct The Winter’s Tale and The Cherry Orchard, starring Simon Russell Beale as Leontes in the Shakespeare and Lopakhin in the Chekhov.