Thursday, 6 November 2014

Film Version of Royal Exchange Hamlet



SHOOTING has just completed on a film version of the Royal Exchange Theatre’s HAMLET, with acclaimed theatre and television actress Maxine Peake in the title role.


The unique and groundbreaking stage production played to sell-out houses throughout its run which ended Saturday 25 October. 


The stage production of HAMLET was directed by Sarah Frankcom, Artistic Director of The Royal Exchange Theatre.  Sarah and Maxine have a long and productive collaborative relationship, including their hugely successful MASQUE OF ANARCHY at Manchester International Festival.  Maxine Peake was BAFTA-nominated for her performances in THE VILLAGE and HANCOCK AND JOAN and is also hugely respected for her performances in SIK, RED RIDING and as Myra Hindley in SEE NO EVIL. 


The film version of HAMLET is directed by Margaret Williams and produced by Anne Beresford of MJW PRODUCTIONS LTD and Debbie Gray of Genesius Pictures.  This is the team behind a number of projects including the much-praised film version of Britten’s opera PETER GRIMES ON ALDEBURGH BEACH.  Margaret Williams is one of the leading directors in the field of stage-to screen; her film version of WRITTEN ON SKIN (Royal Opera House/BBC) recently won the Gramophone Contemporary Award and the Diapason d’or.


Producer Debbie Gray has had a major success in 2014 with the feature film NORTHERN SOUL which reached no 10 in the UK box office chart and no 1 in the DVD chart.  Anne Beresford is known for her work combining music, dance and film for feature film and television as well as feature films such as MOUTH TO MOUTH starring Ellen Page.


HAMLET will be distributed in the UK by Picturehouse Entertainment, one of the leading names in Alternative Content.   It is envisaged that HAMLET will open in approximately 200 cinemas in the UK in March 2015.


In 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the British Council will lead an international celebration of the UK’s most well-known cultural figure.  The British Council will engage audiences and learners internationally through modern and imaginative interpretations of Shakespeare’s work. 


The film version of HAMLET is supported by The Royal Exchange Theatre, Genesius Pictures, Quidem and the British Council.  The Royal Exchange Theatre gratefully acknowledges the generosity of the following in the making of the film: Oglesby Charitable Trust, Old Trafford Consulting Limited, Martyn & Valerie Torevell and all those who supported the theatre’s recent Catalyst project, including public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.  


For further details contact  ANNE BERESFORD (MJW Productions Ltd) on 020 7713 0400 / 07949 054789 or DEBBIE GRAY (Genesius Pictures) on 07708 407948 and JOHN GOODFELLOW (Royal Exchange Theatre Press & Communications Manager) on 0161 615 6783 /



Genesius Pictures:


Production photos from the stage version of HAMLET are available to download from




“A triumph of re-invention... remarkable, intimate and intense... without straining for shock value or raising voices unduly, Peake and co make this 400-year-old revenge tragedy come alive in a way you’ve never seen before”  (The Times)


“Maxine Peake strikes all the notes of intelligence, intensity and range displayed by the best Hamlets” (Financial Times)


“In her Chairman Mao suit and David Bowie hair, Peake uses every part of the stage, every prop, every poise of the body to deliver a 400-year old script as if the words have just come to her” (Manchester Evening News)


“Fresh-minted and funny, this Hamlet is compelling” (The Independent) 


THE ROYAL EXCHANGE THEATRE is situated in the heart of Manchester, and is one of the UKs leading producing theatres. The Company attracts some of the most original artists and theatre makers in the country to present an ambitious programme inspired by the world's greatest stories: stories that have the power to change the way we see the world.

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