A ghostly visitor with a shocking secret, a daughter devastated by loss, a deadly duel – and the most famous question in all of drama. Just some of the reasons why Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy will hold you spellbound.

Since the recent death of old King Hamlet, Denmark has been adjusting to the new regime of Claudius, the late king’s brother, and preparing for an anticipated conflict with Norway. On the battlements of the royal castle at Elsinore, the sentries are on edge – and not just because of the threat of war. Twice now, a spectral figure resembling the old king has appeared to them on their nightly watch. Meanwhile, young Prince Hamlet remains in deep mourning for his father, his grief compounded by disgust at the speedy remarriage of his mother, Gertrude, to Claudius – a union that Hamlet considers incestuous. But even more anguish is in store when Hamlet discovers the truth about his father’s death – and finds himself cast in the role of avenger.


The Stratford Festival has been a shining star of Canadian theatre since July 13, 1953, when Alec Guinness, in the title role of Richard III, emoted the lines, “Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this son of York”.