More than 50 years after appearing as William Shakespeare’s young prince, veteran star Ian McKellen will be essaying the role of Hamlet on stage again.
The 81-year-old actor has been announced as the lead in an age-blind production at Theatre Royal Windsor, reports dailymail.co.uk.
Even though theatres are not yet able to host live productions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, rehearsals for the play will begin next week.
“I feel lucky to be working again, thanks to Bill Kenwright’s inspiring optimism and Sean Mathias’s invitation to re-examine Hamlet, 50 years on from my first go. So now we will meet again. Don’t know when, but do know where – Theatre Royal Windsor,” said McKellen, who first played Hamlet 50 years ago in a 1971 production directed by Robert Chetwyn.
The play is produced by Bill Kenwright and directed by Sean Mathias. Mathias has worked with McKellen several times and were partners for 10 years in the 1980s.
Mathias said it was encouraging that they can at least begin work on the play, even though they do not have a performance date yet.
“We walk a tightrope through the forest whilst we await news of when we may actually perform in front of a live audience, but it will be invigorating to leave the house and get into a rehearsal room and be a part of British theatre returning to the boards,” he said.
The rehearsals will begin on Monday with strict measures in place, which includes social distancing and PPE when necessary.