David Ricardo-Pearce cast as Hamlet in Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, brought to life in Bolton by David Thacker.
After directing The Winter’s Tale at the Octagon Theatre last year, David Thacker returns to direct one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, Hamlet.
In the lead role of Hamlet will be David Ricardo-Pearce. David has recently performed as the title role the Lorax in the Old Vic’s production of The Lorax, and as Oberon and Theseus in Barbican international tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2014). He also starred as the lead role of Alfie in Alfie in 2012 and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet in 2011, both at the Octagon Theatre Bolton and directed by David Thacker.
Joining David will be Jessica Baglow (Educating Rita; First Words: Blue, Octagon Theatre Bolton 2017; The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s Globe 2016; Pericles, Shakespeare’s Globe 2015) as Ophelia. Margot Leicester, who recently played Paulina in The Winter’s Tale at the Octagon, Emelia in Seventeen at Lyric Hammersmith and Camilla Parker Bowles in Charles III at Wyndhams Theatre, returns to the Octagon as Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude. Brian Protheroe, who recently has performed in Twelfth Night at Sheffield and The Merchant of Venice and Othello at the RSC, returns to work with David Thacker as Claudius.
Joining the cast are John Branwell (To Kill a Mockingbird, Octagon Theatre Bolton 2016), Claire Hackett (Anne Dutton in Coronation Street ITV 2016; Tessa Carlson in Line of Duty 2, BBC), Michael Peavoy ([The Fall of] The Master Builder, West Yorkshire Playhouse 2017; Musketeers, BBC 2016), Eric Potts (The Threepenny Opera, Octagon Theatre Bolton 2017; Dick Whittington, FFE – Liverpool Empire 2015), Kiruna Stamell (The Government Inspector¸ Birmingham Rep 2016; Everyman, National Theatre 2015; Father Brown, BBC 2015), Mitesh Soni (The Pact, BBC 2017; Combustion, Arcola Theatre 2017), Anna Tierney (Skate Hard, Turn Left, Battersea Art’s Centre 2017) and, making her Octagon debut, Leah Walker (Safe, Netflix/Studio Canal 2017; Ode to Leeds, West Yorkshire Playhouse 2017; The Skriker, Royal Exchange Theatre 2015).
Hamlet returns from his life studying abroad to find his home utterly changed and his place in the word uncertain… As we find ourselves in an increasingly uncertain world, Shakespeare’s Hamlet resonates as never before in this production about trust, loyalty, and one man’s struggle to control his destiny.
Director David Thacker says: “Hamlet is the perfect play to celebrate the Octagon's fiftieth anniversary. I'm thrilled to be working with such talented actors and creative artists as we seek to bring this wonderful play alive for the Octagon's audiences. I'd like our production to allow Hamlet to speak afresh for people who have seen the play many times before and be a compelling and thrilling experience for the many people who have never seen it. Most of all, I hope people will grab the opportunity of seeing the most famous play ever written - and perhaps Shakespeare's greatest.”
Actor David Ricardo-Pearce says: “It is always a joy to work at the Octagon, and I’m especially excited that I’m returning during the theatre’s 50th anniversary season. I am really looking forward to sharing Shakespeare’s Hamlet with the people of Bolton and to working with David Thacker again.”