Ian McKellen's long-awaited return as Hamlet set for June

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Shakespeare tragedy will be followed by The Cherry Orchard with all-star cast including Steven Berkoff and Jenny Seagrove

Sir Ian McKellen’s return to the role of Hamlet, 50 years after he first took on the role, has been keenly awaited by theatregoers as a post-lockdown treat. It has now been confirmed that the production, announced last year, will open this summer at the Theatre Royal Windsor with a company of actors – also including Steven Berkoff, Jenny Seagrove and Francesca Annis – who will then present The Cherry Orchard. Both plays will be directed by Sean Mathias in a season produced by Bill Kenwright.

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McKellen, who turns 82 in May, will begin previews for Hamlet in June. It is billed as an “age, colour and gender-blind production” and will offer a number of audience members the opportunity to sit on stage. Shakespeare’s tragedy will be followed in September by Chekhov’s masterpiece, adapted by Martin Sherman and starring McKellen as Firs, Annis as Ranevskaya and Seagrove as Gaev.

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