David Tennant played Hamlet as an agitated T-shirt and parka-wearing wreck in a world where the players never escape observation.

Hamlet was brought to life for many audience members new to Shakespeare by director Gregory Doran's clear storytelling and familiar modern setting. 

In Robert Jones' set, weighed down with enormous sparkling chandeliers, all the action was reflected in the glossy black mirror-like floor and the huge full-height mirrors at the back of the stage, which shattered dramatically when Polonius was shot.

Patrick Stewart played a hostile and insensitive Claudius and the Ghost, with Penny Downie as Gertrude. The production broke for the interval with a thrilling cliff-hanger: Hamlet, knife aloft, ready to stab Claudius.

The production was filmed for DVD and broadcast on BBC Two in 2009. In the film, the theme of observation continues as the action is occasionally viewed as images on a CCTV monitor, and Hamlet films the players' performance with a Super-8 camera.

Watch extracts from the BBC film, listen to interviews and find more resources on the BBC website: www.bbc.co.uk/hamlet

For the show's programme, the Hamlet company created a Hamlet 2008 Scrapbook.


Hamlet - David Tennant
Claudius/The Ghost - Patrick Stewart
Gertrude - Penny Downie
Polonius - Oliver Davies
Ophelia - Mariah Gale
Laertes - Edward Bennett
Horatio - Peter De Jersey
Rosencrantz/Second Gravedigger - Sam Alexander
Guildenstern - Tom Davey
Gravedigger - Mark Hadfield
Player King - John Woodvine
Osric/Player Queen - Ryan Gage
Dumbshow King - Samuel Dutton
Dumbshow Queen/Priest Jim Hooper
Reynaldo/Dumbshow Poisoner David Ajala
Marcellus - Keith Osborn
Barnardo - Ewen Cummins
Francisco/Fortinbras - Robert Curtis
Voltemand - Roderick Smith
Cornelia - Andrea Harris
Lucianus - Ricky Champ
Lady-in-waiting - Riann Steele
Lady-in-waiting - Zoe Thorne


Director Gregory Doran
Designer - Robert Jones
Composer - Paul Englishby
Fights - Terry King
Lighting  - Tim Mitchell
Movement - Michael Ashcroft
Sound - Jeremy Dunn

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