Stage / Television / Theatre

Top TV Stars Join Simm’s Sheffield Hamlet

What’s On Stage
Vicky Ellis
25 June 2010

John Nettles joins John Simm in Sheffield's Hamlet

John Nettles joins John Simm in Sheffield's Hamlet

Today Sheffield Theatres announced the full casting for its winter production of Hamlet starring John Simm.

Simm, who takes the lead role of Hamlet as we reported last year (See News:: E8831260527830, 11 Dec 2009), will be joined by John Nettles, of Bergerac and Midsomer Murdersfame, with Michelle Dockery and Barbara Flynn.

Nettles will trade Inspector Barnaby’s detective badge for the morally questionable role of Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle and the perpetrator of his brother’s demise. He will double up the role with that of the Ghost of Hamlet’s father.

Michelle Dockery, the star of new ITV drama Downton Abbey which hits screens this autumn, takes the role of Ophelia. Audiences will have seen her previous television appearances in Cranford, Waking the Dead and Red Riding.

Barbara Flynn plays Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, and returns to the Crucible having previously performed in Sorry. Also seen on screen in Cranford, as Mrs Jamieson as well asTen Days to War, and Elizabeth I, Flynn’s theatre credits include King Lear, (National Theatre), and Woman of Troy (Gate Theatre) .

Alongside them, audiences will find Dylan Brown (Rosencrantz), Adam Foster(Guildernstern), Ben Lamb (Voltemand/Player/Fortinbras), James Loye (Laertes/Lucianus),Joseph Mydell (Player King/Francisco/Captain), Hugh Ross (Polonius/Grave Digger), Harry Lister Smith (Cornelius), Roderick Smith (Marcellus/Player/Priest) and Colin Tierney(Horatio).

The production will be the opening show in Artistic Director Daniel Evans’ second season of work and will be directed by Associate Director Paul Miller.

Designs are by Tom Scutt, with lighting by Oliver Fenwick and music and sound is by Ben and Max Ringham.

The production opens 22 September with previews from 16 and runs until 23 October.

One thought on “Top TV Stars Join Simm’s Sheffield Hamlet

  1. I was lucky enough to see this production twice on consecutive nights in early October and can only say that John SIMM was electrifying as Prince Hamlet. I had never seen any Shakespeare performed live before and if the truth be told hadn’t been that interested; I only decided to see this mainly because John Simm is an actor whose work I very much admire and it was an opportunity for a weekend away with friends!

    However, I am now very interested in seeing more of Shakespeare’s work because Hamlet was without doubt the BEST thing I’ve seen on a stage, ever. (and I have seen John Simm on stage in two other plays, ‘Elling’ and ‘Speaking in Tongues’, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed) Shakespeare’s language (which previously I’d considered -if I’d even thought about it all- over-complicated and nonsensical) flowed in beautifully poetic rythm from a wonderful cast and far from finding it hard to follow (as I thought I might) thanks to the mesmerising John Simm’s clear delivery and chillingly perceptive portrayal of a young man who discovers that his mother is married to and apparently besotted by her previous husband’s murderer, made the story real and easily understandable. Not only will I definitely be seeing more Shakespeare but I’d like to put in a request now for Mr Simm to do more Shakespeare please, and soon! You were brilliant and my only regret is that I wasn’t able to see the play more than twice. I wish it were available on DVD so that I could be reminded of what for me is the benchmark by which I will measure all other Hamlets (even though I know one should not compare because every actor’s Danish Prince is different and equally worthy!!)

    Other cast members I particularly liked were Michelle Dockery (stunningly beautiful in the georgeous costumes), Hugh Ross (a lovely and funny Polonius), Alexander Vlahos (his player Queen was a delight to watch and as for Osric … He should have his own little one man play – ‘Osric’s Tale’, maybe?!?) and Colin Tierney (a concerned and loyal friend to poor Hamlet).

    But the main attraction was definitely John Simm’s painfully bereaved Prince, whose sufferings must surely strike a chord in anyone who has lost a loved one or seen injustice at first hand. Absolutely spellbinding from start to finish.

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