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Great Performances: Hamlet

Airs Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 12 p.m. on KPBS TV

Classical stage and screen actors Sir Patrick Stewart (front), in his Laurenc...

Credit: Ellie Kurttz ©Illuminations/Royal Shakespeare Company

Above: Classical stage and screen actors Sir Patrick Stewart (front), in his Laurence Olivier Award-winning turn as Claudius, and David Tennant (behind), as the titular Dane, reprise their roles in this television adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2008 stage production of "Hamlet."

Television’s longest-running performing arts anthology continues to broadcast the best in music, dance and theater.

Shakespeare's tortured Danish prince receives a contemporary spin in this critically acclaimed production from the Royal Shakespeare Company. Starring David Tennant as Hamlet (familiar to fans as Dr. Who in the cult-favorite UK science fiction TV series) and Patrick Stewart as Claudius, this television adaptation features an edgy interpretation by innovative director Gregory Doran, utilizing location shooting at St. Joseph's College, London, as the setting for a present-day Elsinore Castle. Winning a 2009 Olivier Award for his performance, Tennant is joined by Oliver Ford Davies as Polonius, Penny Downie as Gertrude and Mariah Gale as Ophelia.

"Hamlet" is available for online viewing.

Great Performances: Hamlet: Interview With Patrick Stewart

Great Performances interviewed the recently-knighted "Sir" Patrick Stewart for his roles of Claudius and the Ghost in the upcoming special "Hamlet" to air on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings). While in California promoting the broadcast, Stewart talked about the process of creating a modern adaptation of the play, how the cast created their characters, and what he hopes viewers will take from watching David Tennant and Gregory Doran's "Hamlet." Senior publicist Jitin Hingorani narrates to give a sneak peak at the film.

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