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Home > Arts & History > Arts > Harbison Theatre > Benedict Cumberbatch Leads New Generation of Theatre Makers in Hamlet Screening, Making Old Tale New, at Harbison Theatre Nov. 12, 2015

Benedict Cumberbatch Leads New Generation of Theatre Makers in Hamlet Screening, Making Old Tale New, at Harbison Theatre Nov. 12, 2015

Midlands viewers experience National Theatre Live screening of Shakespearean play with exciting new energy

Emmy Award®-winning actor Benedict Cumberbatch makes his encore appearance on the big screen at Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College for a grippingly fresh revival of the classic Shakespearean tragedy, Hamlet, on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. It is the third screening of Harbison Theatre’s new National Theatre Live series.

Hamlet-Benedict Cumberbatch. Photo by Johan Persson. 400x400

In this timeless Shakespearean tragedy of war and doomed romance – filmed from the stage of London’s Barbican Theatre and transmitted to the screen at Harbison Theatre – Academy Award® nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s “Sherlock,” The Imitation Game) brings his signature savvy and crispness to the title role of Hamlet, who has one mission: to avenge the death of his father, the late King of Denmark.

One of the most powerful and influential plays in William Shakespeare’s canon, Hamlet takes place in the midst of a country preparing itself for war – and a family being torn apart. Lead character Hamlet is forced to exact revenge for his father’s wrongful death, but is faced with an internal moral dilemma that threatens to crumble not only his sanity, but his country. Los Angeles Times says “Cumberbatch’s intelligence and empathy illuminate” his character’s condition.

Refreshingly, this new production of the classic literary tale takes on a fresh, exciting energy under the direction of Lyndsey Turner (Posh, Chimerica) and Sonia Friedman Productions. “Thought you knew ‘Hamlet’?” asks Variety in a recent review. “Think again. This is a Hamlet for a world on the edge: a warning from history, and a plea for new ideas from a new generation.”

“This production is, quite literally, fresh off the boards of the National Theatre, where it closed just last month,” says Katie Fox, Executive Director at Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College. “It’s always difficult to tell an ‘old’ and oft-produced story in a fresh way, and this production was noted both for Cumberbatch’s strong portrayal of Hamlet and for the notable and original scenic and lighting design of the production. I’m excited to watch along with our audience!”

The production’s staggering “widescreen” set is a masterpiece created by award-winning stage designer Es Devlin, the visionary behind the sets for Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Kanye West; London’s 2012 Olympics closing ceremony and a litany of stage, opera, film and television productions. “Children’s toys and leather books gather dust under the stairs,” describes Variety. “Silver branches and mounted stags adorn a vast wedding banquet.”

Hamlet-Benedict Cumberbatch. Photo by Johan Persson. cropped

National Theatre Live is a groundbreaking project launched six years ago that has broadcast over 20 productions from the Royal National Theatre in London, England and other associated locations to more than 3.5 million people across the world. Each production is performed in front of a live audience with multiple cameras positioned throughout the auditorium to ensure that all viewers of the screening have “the best seat in the house.”

“It’s just a great way of making the play accessible,” Cumberbatch tells Daily Mail UK. “The NT Live initiative gives the opportunity to thousands of people who are not able to see our limited run at the Barbican.”

The fourth and final installment of Harbison Theatre’s National Theatre Live screening series will be Treasure Island, based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic literary tale, on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.

This National Theatre Live screening of Hamlet is recommended for teens and older.

Ticketing Details

Hamlet is the third of four screenings in Harbison Theatre’s new National Theatre Live series. Individual show tickets are available now at www.HarbisonTheatre.org. Buyers may also order tickets via phone at 803-407-5011, or in person at the Harbison Theatre Box Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The box office also will open two hours prior to each show in the Signature Series.

About Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College

Rooted in the performing arts, Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College offers programs and productions that encourage reflection, examination and discovery; and that provide entertainment, education and opportunity to professionals, learners and community members in all stages of life. To learn about upcoming events, purchase tickets, or pursue sponsorship and volunteer opportunities with Harbison Theatre, please visit harbisontheatre.org.

Harbison Theatre on Facebook: facebook.com/HarbisonTheatre

Harbison Theatre on Twitter: twitter.com/HarbisonTheatre

About Midlands Technical College

Midlands Technical College (MTC) is a comprehensive, multi-campus, public, two-year college serving Richland, Lexington and Fairfield counties of South Carolina. The fifth-largest provider of higher education in South Carolina and the largest provider of transfer students to four-year colleges and universities in the state, MTC enrolls approximately 18,000 credit students annually. The college’s Corporate and Continuing Education program, one of the largest and most comprehensive in the Southeast, annually has 30,000 enrollments and provides continuing education to hundreds of area businesses each year. midlandstech.edu

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