David Tennant’s Hamlet to hit screens in 2009

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By Oliver Farrimond

DAVID Tennant’s acclaimed portrayal of Hamlet is set to be immortalised on film.

Tennant’s performance – hailed by critics as the “greatest of his generation”- is to be made into a feature-length screen production by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The Doctor Who star will reprise his role after suffering a painful back injury only a few weeks into the play’s production at the Novello theatre.

The injury limited him to just 11 performances in the title role, leaving understudy Edward Bennett to fill in for the remaining dates.

The RSC have not ruled out a cinema release – a move that will delight fans who missed out on Tennant’s portrayal of the Danish Prince.

A spokesman for the RSC said: “It’s true that we’re looking to produce a screen version of Hamlet – we’d love to capture the play on film.

“We’re not sure exactly what form the production will take, we’d be silly to rule anything out at this stage.”

Tennant – who missed out on a prestigious Laurent Olivier award nomination due to his injury – is currently filming a Doctor Who special.

The current production has won several accolades and drawn high critical praise for the star-studded cast, including famous thesp Oliver Ford Davies and Star Trek star Patrick Stewart.

Mr Ford-Davies, who played Polonius in the production, said that the whole cast were hoping to return.

He said: “We are intending to film it over two or three weeks in June.

“It won’t be a full feature film as there isn’t time but it will certainly be more than just the filming of the stage.

“It will be fantastic to work together again.”

Although Tennant’s performances were cut short by a slipped disc, his return to the British stage was named the theatre event of the year, and following surgery he recovered in time to star in the final few dates.

The planned RSC production will be far from the first screen adaptation of Hamlet – the most famous of which is Disney’s The Lion King.

The play is widely regarded as Shakespeare’s finest work, and has been performed on stage for more than 400 years.

The title role of the vengeful Danish prince is one of the most difficult parts in acting – Daniel-Day Lewis famously dropped out the title role in 1989 after seeing the ghost of his own dead father appear on stage.