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Ian McKellen makes long-awaited return as Hamlet in ‘age-blind’ interpretation

Sir Ian is 82 while the titular prince is thought to have been about 30 in the original text.

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Sir Ian McKellen’s long-awaited return as Hamlet has attracted rave reviews (Ian West/PA)

Sir Ian McKellen’s long-awaited return as Hamlet has attracted rave reviews (Ian West/PA)

Sir Ian McKellen’s long-awaited return as Hamlet has attracted rave reviews (Ian West/PA)

Sir Ian McKellen has made his long-awaited return as Hamlet, 50 years after first playing the doomed Danish prince.

The veteran star, 82, promised an “age-blind interpretation” of the Shakespearean tragedy at the Theatre Royal in Windsor.

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Sir Ian McKellen promised an age-blind interpretation of Hamlet (Ian West/PA)

Sir Ian McKellen promised an age-blind interpretation of Hamlet (Ian West/PA)

Sir Ian McKellen promised an age-blind interpretation of Hamlet (Ian West/PA)

Hamlet is thought to have been about 30 in the original text.

During a photo call, Sir Ian cut a regal figure, looking pensive while wearing a crown.

In another picture he was seen posing with the skull of Yorick – one of the most recognisable scenes in Western literature.

In June, Sir Ian, who is gay, said it was clear to him Hamlet was bisexual.

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To be or not to be: Sir Ian McKellen stars in Hamlet – a role he first played 50 years ago (Ian West/PA)

To be or not to be: Sir Ian McKellen stars in Hamlet – a role he first played 50 years ago (Ian West/PA)

To be or not to be: Sir Ian McKellen stars in Hamlet – a role he first played 50 years ago (Ian West/PA)

He told BBC Radio 4’s Front Row: “When you come see me you won’t see an old man pretending to be an young man, you’ll see a man pretending to be a prince, pretending to be an intellectual, pretending to be a neurotic, pretending to love his mother, pretending to love girls and boys.

“You didn’t know that was in Hamlet did you?

“It’s there, Rosencrantz to Hamlet: ‘You did love me once’.”

Directed by Sean Mathias, Hamlet also stars Ben Allen, Francesca Annis and Steven Berkoff.

It runs until September 25.

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