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EF Academy Torbay: National Theatre Live

On Thursday 22nd October the EF Torquay IB students met together on a cold winter`s night to watch one of Shakespeare`s most tragic and popular plays – Hamlet – as part of National Theatre Live. Benedict Cumberbatch was the amazing lead – you might recognize him from his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes on television recently.

National Theatre Live is an exciting initiative to broadcast live performances of the best of British theatre to cinemas in the UK around the world. Recent screenings have included the Broadway production Of Mice and Men, King Lear with Simon Russell Beale, the Donmar Warehouse production of Coriolanus, Playful Productions’ acclaimed West End play The Audience, with Helen Mirren, Othello, with Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear, and Manchester International Festival’s electrifying production of Macbeth, with Kenneth Branagh as the Scottish king and Alex Kingston as Lady Macbeth.

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, often shortened to Hamlet , is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare at an uncertain date between 1599 and 1602. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the play dramatises the revenge Prince Hamlet is called on to wreak upon his uncle, Claudius. Claudius had murdered his own brother, Hamlet’s father King Hamlet, and subsequently seized the throne, marrying his deceased brother’s widow.

Hamlet is Shakespeare’s longest play and among the most powerful and influential tragedies in English literature, with a story capable of “seemingly endless retelling and adaptation by others.”

This has been one of the most hotly contested performances of a Shakespeare play for some time as Benedict Cumberbatch is hot off the heels of an Oscar win and Hamlet is the ultimate test for an actor.

It is such a dark tale but so in grossing and Cumberbatch took the role and made it his own pulling us into the story and keeping us interested despite how long it is. We spend a lot of time studying Shakespeare and love the stories but to see it brought to life in this was is amazing.

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