Sunday, September 3, 2017

#RADAHamlet (2017)

September 1-23, 2017: 

In August it was announced that Tom Hiddleston would return to his former school, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), to star in a charity production of Hamlet directed by Kenneth Branagh. Kenneth Branagh is the current president of RADA and frequent collaborator with Tom on projects such as Thor, Wallander, and Ivanov. This production of Hamlet raised money for the RADA Attenborough Campaign. About the production Tom said: “Hamlet presents almost limitless possibilities for interpretation. I can’t wait to explore them, with this great cast, at RADA. Kenneth Branagh and I have long talked about working on the play together, and now felt like the right time, at the right place. To be guided through it by him as a director, an expert and a friend, is our great good fortune. The performing arts exist to bring people together, not to break or keep them apart. I hope the funds raised by the production will help RADA continue to provide a wider field of equal opportunity to train actors, stage managers and technical theatre artists, from every background, to a standard of excellence and professionalism. We need to keep the doors open for everyone."

The acting company and creative team are made up from members of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company and RADA. They are Ayesha Antoine (Rosencrantz / Bernarda), Lolita Chakrabarti (Queen Gertrude), Nicholas Farrell (King Claudius), Sean Foley (Polonius / Osric), Tom Hiddleston (Hamlet), Ansu Kabia (King Hamlet / Player King / Gravedigger), Caroline Martin (Horatia), Eleanor de Rohan (Guildastern / Marcella / Priest), Irfan Shamji (Laertes / Player Queen) and Kathryn Wilder (Ophelia). Hamlet will be designed by James Cotterill with lighting design by Paul Pyant (both RADA graduates) and sound design by Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid. Lucy Bevan and Emily Brockmann are casting directors for the production.

Tickets to RADA Hamlet were very limited, as the theatre only seats 160, and people had to enter thru a ballot system. Those who were lucky enough to attend had rave reviews for the play: 

What can be said of the play? Well, this production is passionate. It is thoroughly revealing to the point of feeling revealed, being split open and giving us the ability to relate to the emotions vigorously laid out before us. I felt as though each character was a friend, including me in their thoughts. Each performer gave every ounce, every last drop of themselves that helped the audience believe we too were involved. The presentation of Ophelia by Kathryn Wilder was nothing short of sublime, most especially throughout the scenes following her father’s death. Nicholas Farrell – a convincing King Claudius. All the company were near flawless. Which leads me on to Tom Hiddleston and his wholehearted portrayal of Hamlet himself. The gift he has been given to act is on full display here. He zips open Hamlet, steps inside to be consumed by the character. He is Hamlet in those three short hours showing us a torrential outpouring of emotion, switching fluently between despairing grief to pockets of clarity, moments of sheer madness to sober judgement of the broken families around him. The raw nakedness of his performance on stage, or rather, in the round, at eye level pulling you in as though Hamlet is confiding in you to hear the deepest depths of his soul. He was born to play Hamlet. He was born to act Shakespeare. It feels that Hiddleston is taking advice from Polonius in his performance; “…this above all: to thine ownself be true”. - Nauticulture

There were some additional photographs inside the Hamlet programme. 


The Modern Dress wardrobe for #RADAHamlet was supplied by Selfridges but Tom did also mix in some items from his personal wardrobe for the performances.

  • PS by Paul Smith Double-Breasted Wool Blend Peacoat, $430. NEW
  • All Saints Sanderson Leather Bomber Jacket, $415. NEW
  • Reiss Porto Funnel Collar Coat, sold out 
  • Burberry Crew Neck Merino Wool Sweater, sold out.
  • Gucci Slim Fit Knit Sweater, sold out.

  • Jbrand Tyler Jeans, sold out
  • Calvin Klein Slim Fit jeans, $93. NEW 
  • Kurt Geiger London Frederick Suede Chelsea Boots, $151. NEW
Tom is also wearing a hoodie in the production photos but there's not enough detail for me to confirm it. 

If you missed RADA Hamlet - we have a signed programme available to win through our fundraiser/ raffle for Unicef UK! 


  1. It looks as though the costume designer deconstructed the bomber jackets. Look at the lacing where Laertes' sleeve meets the body of the jacket in the fight scene photo. Probably done to allow more freedom of movement, with a nod to Elizabethan doublets.

    1. I put a message out to the costume designer. Hopefully he will get back and give us more insight into the process he used to pick these items out