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Hamlet (2015)

National Theatre Live: Hamlet (original title)
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, finds out that his Uncle Claudius killed his father to obtain the throne, and plans his revenge.


Robin Lough


William Shakespeare (by)


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Credited cast:
Benedict Cumberbatch ... Hamlet - Prince of Denmark
Ciarán Hinds ... Claudius
Sian Brooke ... Ophelia
Anastasia Hille ... Gertrude
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith ... Laertes
Jim Norton ... Polonius
Leo Bill ... Horatio
Rudi Dharmalingam ... Guildenstern
Karl Johnson ... Ghost of Hamlet's Father / Gravedigger
Barry Aird ... Soldier
Matthew Steer ... Rosencrantz
Ruairi Conaghan ... Player King
Diveen Henry ... Player Queen / Messenger
Sergo Vares ... Fortinbras
Nigel Carrington ... Servant / Cornelius


Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, finds out that his Uncle Claudius killed his father to obtain the throne, and plans his revenge.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

15 October 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hamlet See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

National Theatre Live See more »
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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Sian Brooke have also worked together in BBC series, Sherlock, season 04. See more »

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User Reviews

Cumberbatch let down by his choice of director
15 November 2016 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Benedict Cumberbatch asked Lyndsey Turner to direct his "Hamlet," the most talked-about production of the London 2014-2015 season. A live performance was filmed and shows up in movie theaters as part of the National Theatre Live broadcasts.

This is its third time being shown in theaters across America; the reason for that is that it's the most successful of the series. 200,000 people saw the first showing. Cumberbatch in "Frankenstein" often returns as well. So we know who the draw is, and why it sold out in London even faster than Beyonce and JayZ.

There is no correct interpretation of Hamlet, there is only what you prefer. I have seen this production three times - once in London and twice in the Royal National streaming. I've seen Ralph Fiennes, Laurence Olivier, Kenneth Branagh, and Michael Benz all take on the Bard. Michael Benz appeared with five other people on a bare stage for one of the best Hamlet productions I've ever seen. It certainly mined all the tremendous humor, was devoid of angst, and had a very young Hamlet who saw getting the "conscience of a king" as an adventure.

If that production with Benz proved anything, it was that you can do Hamlet successfully with a chair rather than the huge, dark set used in the Barbican production.

To say that this Hamlet was overblown, badly cut, and poorly directed are all understatements. Why Cumberbatch asked for Turner is an unknown. The play was cut so that he was isolated from the rest of the cast most of the time, so, though he was brilliant, athletic, and passionate, we really didn't get to see much interplay with other characters. The result? We lost part of what would have been an even more phenomenal performance.

Someone here posted that Cumberbatch ran a close second to Richard Chamberlain, whom I also saw as Hamlet in another cut version. To me there is no comparison. My acting teacher used to say that you have to play a part and not become too generalized in your choices. Seeing Chamberlain on stage, though I like him and grew up watching him, he is too generic in his choices. Cumberbatch never generalizes; he is always on point with the character he is playing.

The other problem with the production was that it was hard to tell what the time period was - Hamlet always seemed modern, Gertrude like something out of the 1940s, and her husband (Ciaran Hinds) Edwardian. Horatio (Leo Bill) had tattoos on every part of his body.

Other than Cumberbatch, the acting was so-so. The actress playing Ophelia (Sian Brooke) was annoying, which probably had to do with the way the role was cut, and, in her hysteria, hard to understand. Jim Norton was a good Polonius, and Karl Johnson as Hamlet's father's ghost and the Gravedigger was excellent. Ciaran Hinds and Anastasia Hille as Claudius and Gertrude turned in good performances.

Seeing this on screen is actually better than seeing it in the play because while Turner had no idea where the focus was supposed to be on the stage, the cameraman did. And sorry, but whose idea was it during the tell-all play to have Claudius with his back to the audience? Great way to see his reaction.

Sadly, Morag Siller, who played Voltemand, died six months after the end of this production, at the age of 46.

If it comes to your neighborhood, definitely see it for Cumberbatch - to hear Hamlet spoken in that voice is a wonder indeed.

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