Kickstarting UK theatre's return post-COVID

Bill Kenwright’s 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 followed up the announcement with news that Sir Ian McKellen’s return to the role of Hamlet will open Summer 2021 at the Theatre Royal Windsor.


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 second wave of coverage came with news of Hamlet’s previews and official opening, which was covered by The Guardian, Mail, Telegraph, Deadline, and hundreds of regional and trade publications. Interviews were set up with GQ, BBC Radio 4 and the Mail and the announcement was later featured on Sky News, BBC News, Daily Mirror, Daily Express and LBC. April saw Hamlet featured on the Six O'Clock News & Ten O'Clock News.

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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