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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