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The South Bank Show

Melvyn Bragg

ITV 1st April 1989


In tonight’s programme some of this century’s greatest actors perform Shakespeare’s greatest role – Hamlet. The play is currently running at the National Theatre, with two other major productions, at the RSC and on tour, forthcoming soon. Why is it so enduring with actors and audiences alike? The three directors concerned – Richard Eyre, Ron Daniels and Yuri Lyubimov – discuss the play’s merits and relevance, aided by Orson Welles, Tyron Guthrie, John Barton and Michael Pennington*. Performances are provided by Hamlets past and present including Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Richard Burton, Derek Jacobi, John Barrymore and Sarah Brenhardt.’


Director  Chris Hunt


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* Other links associated with Michael and ‘Hamlet’ –


Hamlet (1965) – Fortinbras

Hamlet (1969) – Laertes

Hamlet (1980) – Hamlet

Hamlet (1994) – Claudius and the Ghost

Hamlet: A User’s Guide