Ian McKellen to star in Hamlet this Summer at Theatre Royal Windsor #theatre #Windsor #IanMcKellen


The Theatre Royal Windsor’s inaugural Summer Season opens with Shakespeare’s HAMLET directed by Sean Mathias and starring Ian McKellen in this reimagined age, colour, and gender-blind interpretation of the young Prince in this unrelenting tale of madness, revenge and death opens 21 June 2021


Produced by Bill Kenwright, HAMLET heralds Sean Mathias’ unique opening season at Theatre Royal Windsor with one company of actors in two of theatre’s greatest plays. It will be followed by Martin Sherman’s adaptation of Anton Chekov’s theatrical masterpiece THE CHERRY ORCHARD, in which the aging Ranevskaya returns to the family estate to find it and her beloved cherry orchard is up for auction. Francesca Annis stars as Ranevskaya, McKellen as Firs the elderly manservant and Jenny Seagrove as Gaev.  


This will be one of the first major new productions to open, hopefully, to non-restricted seating since theatres went dark just over a year ago, in accordance with government guidelines to stem the spread of COVID-19. Performances from 21-26 June are on sale with social distancing as a precaution. 


Sean Mathias said: “The return of British theatre from the long dark night of COVID 19 has rightly been one of our biggest cultural conversations of the last year. Now, as more rays of hope begin to appear, everyone in the industry is determined to help our precious artform explode back into life. We trust that by bringing together this exceptional ensemble to present two of the greatest plays of all time we will play our part in this revival, and on a personal note I can’t think of a more invigorating way to mark my first season as artistic director of the Theatre Royal Windsor Season.” 

Ian McKellen said: “I’ve acted in both these masterpieces before – and seen them scores of times. They are in that select group of classic plays which bear, even demand, a regular look, even reappraisal, by actors, directors, producers – and audiences. How can Hamlet be played by an 80 year old? I hope theatre-starved audiences will want to find out!” 


Bill Kenwright said: “Sean, Ian and I started this journey, during the first lockdown last summer. At that time, it was not to be, but while we will continue to work in steadfast accordance with government and scientific guidelines, and the safety of all our priority, we are hugely optimistic that our rehearsals will lead us to a pretty historic opening on June 21st at 7:30pm.” 

Notes to Editors 

Listings Information 


Performance Dates: Mon 21 June – Sat 4 September 

Show Times: 7.30PM Mon – Sat 

Special matinee performances: 2.30PM Sat 24 July & Sat 21 August (no evening performances on these dates) 

The Cherry Orchard  

Performance Dates: Fri 10 September – Sat 23 October 

Show Times: 7.30PM Mon – Sat 

2.30PM Thu & Sat  

Ticket Prices: £25 – £75  

Priority booking opens Fri 19 March, 11am 

General sale opens Sat 20 March, 11am 

Theatre Royal Windsor

Box Office: 01753 853 888