Kenneth Branagh to direct Tom Hiddleston in Hamlet fundraiser: how to buy tickets
Kenneth Branagh will direct Tom Hiddleston in a forthcoming limited engagement of Hamlet to raise funds for regenerating their former drama school, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Branagh's theatre company have partnered with RADA to launch a co-production of Hamlet, which will run for three weeks from September 1 at the school's 160-seat Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre. Tickets will be available through a lottery.
All funds raised will support the RADA Attenborough Campaign, named after one of their most famous alumni, which will enable the regeneration of the Academy's Chenies Street premises and help build the school's very first on-site accommodation for students, opening up opportunities for prospective students and further reducing financial barriers for aspiring talent.
Money raised will also support the building of a new library and an enhancement to the Academy's archive, along with the conversion of a hall into a 250-seat public theatre, one to be named after Richard Attenborough.
An online ticket ballot will open at midday today (August 1), before closing at 6pm on Sunday 6 August. A phone line ballot will similarly open at midday today, but close on Saturday August 5 at 5pm, with lines open from 10am to 5pm. Successful applicants, all of whom will be selected at random with a maximum of two tickets to be purchased, will be notified by or on August 8 and have 48 hours to book their tickets.
Resale of tickets will be prohibited, while bookers must bring photo ID and relevant documentation to the theatre on the day of the performance to collect their tickets -- a similar tactic introduced by the Victoria Theatre for the forthcoming London production of Hamilton. There will be neither a returns queue nor day tickets available to purchase at the RADA box office.
Twenty percent of tickets will be priced at £15 and are only available to audiences aged 25 and under. A further twenty percent will be priced at £45, with the remaining tickets at £95.
Hiddleston, who graduated from RADA in 2005, previously spoke about his experiences at the drama school in 2014 during an interview with Industrial Scripts.
"You're free to fail in a sense, and you're free to try new things and play parts you wouldn't necessarily be given," he said. "You do learn about yourself and you learn that you are capable of playing more broadly, possibly, then you might first have imagined. Even just the experience of playing another accent or in another time period, you think 'I didn't know I had that in me'.
"And you learn from each other, as well. I had an amazing year group; really, truly amazing. Andrea Riseborough was in my class, Andrew Buchan; Ben Whishaw was two years above me, Gemma Arterton was two years below me... We're all just young people, messing around and trying stuff out, and that's an enormously stimulating environment to be in."