‘One of the most visually and atmospherically stunning productions I’ve ever seen, of anything, ever.’  – Time Out

16. Benedict Cumberbatch (Hamlet) in Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre. Photo credit Johan Persson
Academy Award® nominee Benedict Cumberbatch plays the title role in Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, broadcast by National Theatre Live from London’s Barbican Theatre for limited screenings at Cinema Nouveau theatres countrywide. The production releases on Saturday, 07 November, for four shows only.
Directed by Lyndsey Turner and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, the cast also includes Leo Bill (Horatio), Siân Brooke (Ophelia), Anastasia Hille (Gertrude), Ciarán Hinds (Claudius), Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Laertes) and Jim Norton (Polonius).
This production of one of the English language’s most accomplished and best-loved plays, and what is considered to be Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, was the fastest-selling production in London theatre history, enjoying a completely sold-out season at the Barbican. Advance bookings for the four screenings at Cinema Nouveau are already strong.
In what has been termed a most accessible production of Hamlet, the accomplished cast is led by Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game,BBC’s Sherlock) as the Danish prince.
‘Benedict Cumberbatch is a blazing five-star Hamlet.’  – Daily Telegraph
Directed by Olivier Award-winning director Lyndsey Turner, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and with multiple award-winning set designer Es Devlin, who has also designed several notable operas and pop/rock/rap arena concerts for artists such as Kanye West, Lady Gaga and Muse, this epic, lavish and detailed staging of Hamlet is best appreciated on the big screen.
View the trailer for HAMLET here:
Of the screenings, Cumberbatch said: “It feels truly thrilling to be opening up our theatre production of Hamlet to the wider reach of a National Theatre Live audience. The idea that people who can’t get to the theatre, for whatever reason, can join us for one night in cinemas around the country – and indeed the world – is extraordinary. Each screening will doubtless have its own atmosphere, but wherever you’re watching, thanks to the brilliance of the National Theatre Live team, you’ll be right at the heart of the action, in the best seat in the house.”
Set in Denmark, Hamlet tells of a country arming itself for war, as a family tears itself apart. Forced to avenge his father’s death but paralysed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state.
Benedict Cumberbatch is an international multi-award winning theatre, television and film actor.  His recent stage credits for the National Theatre include After the Dance and alternating the Creature and Dr Frankenstein in Danny Boyle’s production of Mary Shelley’s Frankensteinfor which he won the Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Best Actor awards. He is currently best known for playing the title role in the BBC’s Sherlock and will be seen next year as Richard III in The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses.  His film work includes Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Star Trek into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County and the role of Smaug in The Hobbit trilogy.  Cumberbatch has been nominated for BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Awards for his role playing Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.
Lyndsey Turner’s directing credits include Fathers and Sons and Philadelphia, Here I Come! for the Donmar Warehouse, Machinal for the Roundabout Theatre, Chimerica at the Almeida and in the West End, Posh for the Royal Court and in the West End, There Is A War and Edgar and Annabel for the National Theatre, Alice and The Way Of The World for Sheffield Theatres and Our Private Life, Contractions and A Miraclefor the Royal Court. Turner was recently appointed as an Associate Director for the National Theatre, where she directed Light Shining in Buckinghamshire in April.
Sonia Friedman Productions, founded in 2002, is a West End and Broadway production company responsible for some of the most successful theatre productions in London and on Broadway over the past few years.  Their recent West End and Broadway theatre productions and co-productions include:  the UK premiere of The Book of Mormon, Jez Butterworth’s The River on Broadway, starring Hugh Jackman, Sunny Afternoon, Shakespeare in Love, The Nether, Electra, King Charles III, Jerusalem, Ghosts, Mojo, Chimerica, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night andRichard III, and Old Times.
The full cast of Hamlet is: Barry Aird (Soldier), Eddie Arnold (Danish Captain, Servant), Leo Bill (Horatio), Siân Brooke (Ophelia), Nigel Carrington (Servant, Cornelius), Ruairi Conaghan (Player King), Benedict Cumberbatch (Hamlet), Rudi Dharmalingam (Guildenstern), Colin Haigh (Priest, Messenger), Paul Ham (Official), Diveen Henry (Player Queen, Messenger), Anastasia Hille (Gertrude), Ciarán Hinds (Claudius), Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Laertes), Karl Johnson (Ghost of Hamlet’s father), Jim Norton (Polonius), Amaka Okafor (Official), Dan Parr (Barnardo), Jan Shepherd (Courtier), Morag Siller (Voltemand), Matthew Steer (Rosencrantz), Sergo Vares (Fortinbras) and Dwane Walcott (Marcellus).
Set designs are by Es Devlin with costume designs by Katrina Lindsay, video by Luke Halls, lighting by Jane Cox, music by Jon Hopkins, sound by Christopher Shutt, movement by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and fights by Bret Yount.
‘This is a Hamlet for a world on the edge: a warning from history, and a plea for new ideas from a new generation.’ – Variety
Since National Theatre Live’s first season, which began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phédre starring Helen Mirren, almost four million people have experienced the work of National Theatre Live in cinemas worldwide.
HAMLET releases on South African screens from Saturday, 07 November for four screenings only: on 07, 11 and 12 November at 19:30 and on08 November at 14:30 – at Cinema Nouveau theatres in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town.  The running time of this production is 3hrs and 30mins, including an interval.
For booking information on HAMLET, download the Ster-Kinekor App on any Nokia, Samsung Android, iPhone or Blackberry smart phone for updates, news and to make a booking. Visit or Follow us on Twitter @nouveaubuzz and onFacebook at Cinema Nouveau. For queries, contact Ticketline on 0861 Movies (668 437).
The discounts and benefits for cardholders of SK Club, Discovery Vitality and Edgars Club loyalty programmes apply for all live theatre productions. Special prices for school and group bookings are also available on request.
National Theatre Live enables audiences to experience the best of British theatre throughout the year, as the NT brings cameras into the auditorium to record and broadcast performances from stage to screen. Over four million people have experienced a National Theatre Livebroadcast via satellite, both live and time-delayed, in more than 2 000 venues in over 40 different countries around the world, including South Africa.
National Theatre Live events are distributed outside the U.K. through New York-based BY Experience, the pioneer of global live “alternative content” digital cinema events.
Forthcoming productions from NT Live, to be screened at Cinema Nouveau, include:

  • Charlotte Bronte’s JANE EYRE, a co-production with Bristol Old Vic, to be screened from 23 January 2016
  • From the Olivier Theatre, Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT, with Rosalie Craig as Rosalind, to be screened from 19 March 2016
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