Hamlet Press Night: Official RSC Statement

It has been confirmed that David Tennant will not perform at tonight’s Press Night performance of the RSC production of Hamlet at the Novello Theatre in London due to a back injury.
The RSC has decided to go ahead with the press performance with the understudy Edward Bennett in the title role. David did not perform at last night’s preview and Bennett took on the role to a standing ovation from the audience. He normally plays the role of Laertes.
RSC Artistic Director Michael Boyd said; "As an ensemble company we feel that it is important to go ahead with tonight’s performance. While understanding that some people will be disappointed at not seeing David Tennant on stage, this production, like all our productions, is more than the sum of its parts – an ensemble of actors, designers, composers etc. and we should respect that by going ahead as planned."
RSC Chief Associate Director Gregory Doran and director of the production said "David is gutted, not only at the thought of disappointing audiences, but also to be unable to perform a role that he has worked on and developed throughout 60 performances in Stratford-upon-Avon. Before this injury, he has only ever been off for one performance in his entire career to date, and is hoping that he will be able to return to the show as quickly as possible. It is an indication of the RSC’s investment in understudies that Ed Bennett can take over from David in one of Shakespeare’s largest roles at such short notice."