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National Theatre announces cast for Hamlet reimagined for young audiences

The touring production will also run at the Dorfman Theatre

The cast of Hamlet reimagined for young audiences
© Harry Elletson

The National Theatre has revealed casting for its returning production of Hamlet reimagined for younger audiences.

The piece will tour throughout schools across England between 2 February and 10 March, culminating in a run at the Dorfman Theatre (20 to 28 March) open to the general public. Chosen schools are located in the Thurrock, Knowsley, Tameside, Blackpool, Blackburn, Lincolnshire and Havering areas.

Adapted by Jude Christian (NT's Dick Whittington) and recommended for audiences aged 8 to 12 years old, the production was originally directed by Tinuke Craig (The Colour Purple) and is now helmed by Ellie Hurt (A Christmas Carol, Shakespeare North Playhouse).

Hurt said: "I'm so excited to bring back Tinuke Craig's reimagining of Hamlet for young audiences. To be able to take it from the National Theatre stage and into schools across the country means this show will not only be some of our audience's first experience of Shakespeare, but also of live theatre. Along with a brilliant cast, creative and production team who have crafted this exciting, engaging and inclusive show, we hope to inspire younger audiences to explore the limitless possibilities in Shakespeare and theatre."

Leading the company in the titular role is Simeon Desvignes. He is joined by Curtis Callier, Adam Clifford, Ashley Gerlach, Kathrine Payne, Claire Redcliffe, Annabelle Terry and Monique Walker.

The creative team includes set and costume designer Frankie Bradshaw, lighting designer Paul Knott, sound designers Clark Henry-Brown and Dom Coyote, composer and musical director Dom Coyote, fight director Jeremy Barlow and movement director Shane Dempsey. The casting director is Chloe Blake.

Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre commented: "Our first experiences of live theatre can open a whole new world of discovery and opportunities, and so we are delighted to bring Jude Christian's exciting adaptation of Hamlet for young audiences back to the National Theatre and on tour to schools across the country. By transforming school halls with this production, we hope to introduce new young audiences to Shakespeare and theatre, and support teachers to ensure drama and creativity continues to be a key part of learning in primary schools".

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