This production of Hamlet, directed by Janet Suzman, played at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon as part of the RSC's Complete Works Festival in 2006.

Johannesburg-born Suzman directed the play for Baxter Theatre Centre in South Africa before the company toured to England for the Festival. The 'colour-blind casting' was a reflection of the multi-ethnic population of South Africa and with a cast of only 12, most of the parts were doubled (or tripled).

The whole world of Elsinore was a prison for Hamlet, who work the shorts and shirt of a South African prisoner. The minimal set - more from logistical and financial constraints than choice - plus actors fresh to Shakespeare's writing, allowed Suzman to tell the story in an African context with clarity.

The company suffered a real-life great tragedy when one of the actors was murdered outside Cape Town shortly before coming to England. Brett Goldin, playing Guildenstern, was thought to have been the victim of a car-jacking. In response to this terrble loss, the RSC and Baxter set up the Brett Goldin bursary, which provides a yearly grant for one or two young South African actors to travel to England and work with the RSC.

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