William Shakespeare
BBC Studios
Directed by Rodney Bennet

Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.

When Old Hamlet, King of Denmark, suffers an untimely death and is succeeded by his brother - who in turn marries his widow - his son, the Prince Hamlet, is already highly distressed. When the ghost of the father appears, then, to reveal to Hamlet that he was murdered by his own usurping brother, the prince vows vengence.

Production duration: 3 hrs 34 min
BBC Studios

Cast & creative team


  • Hamlet
    Derek Jacobi
  • Gertrude
    Claire Bloom
  • Claudius / King of Denmark
    Patrick Stewart, OBE
  • Polonius
    Eric Porter
  • Ophelia
    Lalla Ward
  • Laertes
    David Robb
  • Ghost of old Hamlet
    Patrick Allen
  • Horatio
    Robert Swann
  • Rosencrantz
    Jonathan Hyde
  • Guildenstern
    Geoffrey Bateman
  • Player King
    Emrys James
  • Player Queen
    Jason Kemp
  • Player
    Geoffrey Beevers
  • King in the Mime
    Bill Homewood
  • Queen in the Mime
    Peter Richards
  • Murderer in the Mime
    Terence McGinity
  • Player
    Peter Burroughs
  • Player
    Stuart Fell
  • Fortinbras
    Ian Charleson
  • Gravedigger
    Tim Wylton
  • Gravedigger
    Peter Benson
  • Marcellus
    Paul Humpoletz
  • Barnardo
    Niall Padden
  • Francisco
    Christopher Baines
  • Voltemand
    John Humphry
  • Cornelius
    John Sterland
  • Osric
    Peter Gale
  • Reynaldo
    Raymond Mason
  • Norwegian Captain
    Dan Meaden
  • Sailor
    Iain Blair
  • Messenger
    Reginald Jessup
  • Priest
    Michael Poole
  • English Ambassador
    David Henry


  • William Shakespeare
  • Rodney Bennet
  • Cedric Mesina
  • Dudley Simpson
  • Dave Hiller
    Film Editing
  • Don Homfray
  • Barbara Kronig
    Costume Design
  • Pam Meager
  • Chick Anthony