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Cumberbatch Hamlet April Fool!

April 2, 2014

For those who missed it yesterday, and because I don’t like wasting material…

This was the attempt at an “April Fool” for 2014.

It was announced this morning that the Summer 2015 production of “Hamlet,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch will be a cultural celebration of the close ties between the UK and Denmark.

Producer Sonia Friedman says, “I am delighted to be strengthening relations with the Danish arts world, and welcome both their cultural and financial support. We are now not only able to ensure the authenticity of the piece through utilising local skills and knowledge in design and casting, but also access commercial sponsorship that will assist greatly in meeting our planned production budget while off-setting the price of tickets for ordinary theatregoers.”

The production will open on 12th July 2015, exactly 500 years to the day Hamlet’s Father Christan II ascended the Danish throne. A royal gala event, it will be held in the presence of both Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and our own Queen Elizabeth II, plus members of the household.

On stage, the National Theatre of Denmark will be much in evidence. Queen Gertrude will be played by leading Danish star Anna Kronenbourg. Most famous for creating the role of Christine Daae in the original Copenhagen cast of “The Phantom of the Opera,” this will be her London debut.

The set will be designed and lit by the Danish National Theatre’s award-winning team of Bang Neilsen and Lens Klar. Three years ago, they won the Andersen Prize for an innovative collapsible set for “Peer Gynt.” This time, they are considering options for either a classic or modern design at the Barbican. Whether to use Rosenborg Castle as an inspiration, or more recognisable modern landmarks, Neilsen has reputedly quipped “Tivoli, or not Tivoli, that is the question,” to his team.

With a £3.2m budget, this will be the most expensive “Hamlet” ever staged, and the Danish Ministry of Commerce is delighted that its most famous brands will be contributing.

Already confirmed is the assistance of The Maersk Group with the shipping of the set from the workshop of the Danish National Theatre to London. In return, shareholders with at least 1,000,000 shares registered as at 31st March 1915 will gain access to seats ahead of the general public.

Similarly, famous Danish chocolate and marzipan makers Anthon Berg will be running a “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory” style contest, with “golden tickets” to the play hidden inside various wrappers from early 2015. A terminal in their Strøget store from 1st April 2015 will provide visitors with access to tickets ahead of the main booking period opening.

Premium” seats are to be sponsored by Danish Bacon. Mindful of the sensibilities of vegetarian, Jewish, Hindu and other theatregoers, the “Bring home the Bacon” slogan will only be emblazoned on tickets for 9 of the 18 rows. Their generosity will see these seats priced at only £115, rather than the necessary £175 originally predicted.

For those with less money, a unique marketing campaign will be launched by Lurpak on 31st January 2015. Customers will be encouraged to collect 30 specially designed wrappers or tub lids from its butter products. These can then be sent in to the address provided, enabling 10,000 customers to purchase up to 2 specially widened seats each for selected performances.

Finally, Denmark’s most famous export, Lego, will mark the event with two thrilling tributes. The first will be a model of the Barbican Centre, to be unveiled at Legoland in Windsor on the day the production opens. The second will be the release of a limited edition Lego re-creation of the Bang Neilsen stage set. Following the success of the 2013 “Tower Bridge,” popularised by David Beckham, it is hoped this 1750 piece box will have similar long-lasting appeal.

Summing up, Danish cultural attaché to London, Lars Priloof, says, “It is a great joy to us in Denmark to once again participate in the sharing of our most famous royal and England’s most famous writer. We look forward to 2015 with much anticipation.”



If you didn’t get the “Hamlet’s Father,” “Anna Kronenbourg” (and a Kronenbourg), “Bang Neilsen and Lens Klar” (Bang Nails In and Lens Clear), plus the other daftness… the final old classic anagram “Lars Priloof” (April Fool) should be the clincher.

Thanks for laughing. Or not. As you like!

  1. Sarah permalink
    April 2, 2014 8:01 am

    Laugh I did – thank you ! I especially chortled at Lurpack providing the wider seats ! 😀

    • Steve Rich permalink*
      April 2, 2014 8:10 am

      Glad it gave you a giggle. After 30 packs of butter, it seemed only logical 😉

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