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Kristin Tutino
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Wednesday, April 28 at 8 p.m. – Great Performances "Hamlet"

(Rochester, NY) S hakespeare’s immortal “To be, or not to be” takes on a whole new meaning (and medium) as classical stage and screen actors Sir Patrick Stewart and David Tennant reprise their roles for the television adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) 2008 stage production of Hamlet. Great Performances “Hamlet” airs Wednesday, April 28 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11).

“Hamlet” aired in the UK on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas), when more than 900,000 viewers tuned in for the BBC broadcast. In an article in The Observer, Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown wrote, “Like many people, I had my love of Shakespeare reawakened by David Tennant’s TV portrayal of Hamlet … .”

Veteran stage and screen actor Sir Patrick Stewart reprises his 2009 Laurence Olivier Award-winning role of Claudius in the screen version, which is directed by Gregory Doran, who reprises his stage direction of the production. (In 2001, Doran directed the dynamic television adaptation of the RSC’s Macbeth.)  

The adaptation re-creates the tone and atmosphere of the stage production in a film-style interpretation shot in HD on location at St. Joseph’s College in Mill Hill, London.

Pictured: David Tennant as Hamlet
Credit: Ellie Kurttz ©Illuminations/Royal Shakespeare Company


WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.