Kickstarting UK theatre's return post-Covid

Hamlet starring Sir Ian McKellen

In June 2020, we delivered the first sign that UK theatre was on its way back after the Covid-19 blackout, announcing the country’s first major production to restart rehearsals: Bill Kenwright’s production of Hamlet, starring Sir Ian McKellen and directed by Sean Mathias at the Theatre Royal Windsor.
We then devised and executed a historic global publicity campaign for the production’s run in 2021.


The announcement had huge impact spanning national and broadcast media as well as the trades in over 500 outlets and received page 3 coverage in the Times and Guardian and inspired impassioned op-eds in the Telegraph and Observer among coverage in every other major UK title. It even made a dent on Liverpool’s league title triumph - trending on Twitter amidst a sea of red.

The publicity campaign for the show’s production run garnered major feature coverage from every major UK outlet and widespread international attention, engaging talent from across the production and carefully managing messaging around Sir Ian McKellen’s status as cultural icon to ensure that each profile was original, in-depth and inspired sustained national interest in Shakespeare and Hamlet in particular, and cement the production’s status as an historic event in British theatre.

Impact Highlights

Ian McKellen's Hamlet, aged 81: it's madness but there's method in it


Ian McKellen isn’t afraid to return to the theatre – our timid Government should take note


The age is the thing: Sir Ian McKellen to take on Hamlet at 81


'I feel lucky to be working again': Sir Ian McKellen, 81, to star as Hamlet in 'age-blind' production

Story spread
the globe
pieces of coverage for Hamlet’s press launch
BBC News, Independent, Metro and
Times &
Twitter trended over Sir Ian McKellen

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