Almeida Theatre stages Hamlet For Free fest for under 25s

Andrew Scott as Hamlet. Image Miles Aldridge

It’s not often you get to watch one of Britain’s most engaging stars in a free performance but Sherlock’s Andrew Scott is set to give a gratis Hamlet at London’s Almeida Theatre to anyone aged under 25.

Hamlet For Free is a free festival of events and performances for anyone aged 25 and under. It will feature five performances of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, directed by Almeida associate director, Robert Icke, and will be performed exclusively for select audiences from April 10 –13, with all tickets completely free.

Hamlet For Free will feature four days of free performances, events, and workshops inspired by the themes of theatre’s troubled Dane.

It is likely more than 1650 young people will see the production and renews the Almeida’s commitment to ensuring affordable and accessible tickets across the year, putting young people at the heart of the theatre.

The Almeida, in Islington, will be open from 9.30am each day during the festival with the entire building and café bar dedicated to young people.

Festival highlights include:

 Press Go, an interactive promenade piece created in response to the themes of Hamlet which will run throughout each day of the event. A group of fearless young actors will invite their audience on a journey around Islington in a murder mystery thriller where every move they make has game – changing consequences.

Win or lose, how this story ends is entirely up to the audience. Playing in teams of two they will visit multiple locations, with the choices they make along the way affecting how their journey unfolds.

Game of Thrones Jacob Anderson (aka Raleigh Ritchie) will take part in Lads Lounge, a discussion about crisis in modern masculinity, and talk about his television and music career.

A programme of workshops which will provide young people with the opportunity to learn from leading industry professionals.

 Answers Back: Who the hell’s in charge here? A panel event on the themes of leadership and division explored in Hamlet, will feature young people discussing what makes a good leader and how young people can motivate social change in this period of global political unrest.

An Audio Described and Captioned matinee performance of Hamlet for young deaf or hard of hearing and blind or visually impaired audiences, preceded by a Touch Tour.


Rupert Goold, Almeida artistic director said: “Hamlet For Free celebrates the young people who
belong at the heart of the Almeida’s community.

“We are delighted to be producing this entirely free festival around Robert’s production of Hamlet, harnessing the imagination and energy of the Almeida for what will be an electric four days.

“We want to open up the doors of the theatre and welcome everyone aged 25 and under inside to experience the shows we create, the actors on stage, the creatives off stage, and to offer a platform for young people to explore their own talent, at no cost.

“It’s vital to remove any barriers to attending and making theatre and we are excited to welcome first-timers, students and young theatre-makers.

“No one should feel that theatre ‘isn’t for them’ and Hamlet For Free is a fantastic opportunity for us to engage with audiences new to the Almeida and create a memorable and valuable experience.

“Hamlet For Free renews our commitment to ensuring affordable accessible tickets for young people across the Almeida’s artistic programme. We hope to see young audiences return for The Treatment, Ink and Against later this year with the discounted ticket schemes we’re rolling out.”

The full cast of Hamlet is Barry Aird, Elliot Barnes-Worrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Marty Cruickshank, Calum Finlay, Joshua Higgott, Amaka Okafor, Daniel Rabin, David Rintoul, Andrew Scott, Juliet Stevenson, Luke Thompson, Peter Wight, Angus Wright and Matthew Wynn.

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