Video Trailer: Maxine Peake as Hamlet

The Royal Exchange’s gender-bending production of Hamlet comes to cinemas

Maxine Peake impressed audiences and critics with her performance as Hamlet at Manchester’s Royal Exchange in autumn 2014. Director Sarah Frankcom’s modern-dress production of Shakespeare’s tragedy was the theatre’s fastest selling show of the decade.

Now those who missed it, or would like a second helping, can watch the entire play – at their local cinema. Margaret Williams’ film was shot over the last three nights of the sell-out run, the first time the Royal Exchange has broadcast a show.

Maxine Peake is a familiar face to TV viewers. She was nominated for a BAFTA for her roles in BBC One’s The Village and Hancock and Joan, and also starred in legal drama Silk, Shameless and as Myra Hindley in See No Evil.

In his review for the Telegraph, Dominic Cavendish said her turn as Hamlet had “…that invaluable quality, integrity, and crucially, too, it lacks earnestness. Peake is unafraid to make a fool of herself – pulling faces, twinkling with madcap mischief – while her swordsmanship has a Flynn-like flair.”