Hamlet Review



Hamlet will be in UK Cinemas for One Night Only on 27th February.


Title: Hamlet
Starring: Ian McKellen, Frances Barber, Steven Berkoff, Jonathan Hyde, Jenny Seagrove, Francesca Annis
Director: Sean Mathias
Run Time: 117 Mins

Hamlet (2024)McKellen reprises his lead role as Hamlet, a man who descends into madness as he seeks vengeance against his uncle for the alleged murder of his father. A tale of revenge that has stood the test of time, Shakespeare’s classic tragedy is reimagined for the modern day as a gripping psychological thriller.

Kaleidoscope Entertainment have confirmed that a new adaptation of Hamlet, starring two-time Academy Award nominee and Shakespearian titan Ian McKellen, will be heading to UK Cinemas for One Night Only on 27th February. The screening will include an exclusive recorded Q&A with Ian McKellen and Director, Sean Mathias.

A tale of revenge that has stood the test of time, Shakespeare’s classic tragedy is reimagined for the modern day as a gripping psychological thriller! Transcending the confines of the stage in a uniquely modern spin, the film utilises nearly every room of the Theatre Royal Windsor to transform it into the immortal Elsinore Castle, from basement dungeon to roof-top battlement.

Ian McKellen, reprising his lead role as Hamlet, a man who descends into madness as he seeks vengeance against his uncle for the apparent murder of his father, leads a stellar cast including stage and screen legend Steven Berkoff, with further stars of the critically acclaimed, recent stage cast of ‘Hamlet’, including Frances Barber (King Lear, Chekhov’s The Seagull), Jonathan Hyde (King Lear, Titanic, Crimson Peak), Jenny Seagrove and BAFTA-winner Francesca Annis, bringing their iconic roles to life in this compelling new film adaptation.

Hamlet (2024)Director Sean Mathias stages, directs and films the play as it if were a movie set in the Theatre Royal, Windsor. Using not only the stage, but many of the other rooms and spaces. It's a clever idea and it works well. And as the scenes of a play within a play happen on the stage it makes more sense and is easier to follow, making it that little bit more accessible. Neil Oseman the director of photography has also done an excellent job. Alis Wyn Davies (Ophelia), Jonathan Hyde (Claudius) and and Steven Berkoff’s (Polonius) are all on great form and add to the impressive cast.

At times you'll have to really stretch your powers of make believe, suspending your disbelief at watching McKellen play Hamlet as a man in his 80s who is quite a lot older than his mother and uncle. But it's Ian McKellen and if he wants to play Hamlet one last time then I think he has given more than enough to British theatre and Shakespeare performances throughout his long and celebrated career to warrant it.

And whilst nothing may compare to a live theatrical performance, watching this 'movie' version of the play, set in a theatre, may in many ways be better than seeing the play through a service such as National Theatre Live (which is of course still very good) as it breathes even more life and realism into the play. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Hamlet will be in UK Cinemas for One Night Only on 27th February

Author : Kevin Stanley