Tom Hiddleston to star in Hamlet, directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh

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image captionBranagh cast Hiddleston in 2011's Thor

We've had David Tennant, Benedict Cumberbatch, and most recently, Andrew Scott taking on the role of Hamlet on the London stage.

And now Tom Hiddleston is stepping up to the challenge.

The Thor and Night Manager star will lead the cast for a fundraiser for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada).

The London production will be directed by Rada president Sir Kenneth Branagh and will also star Born to Kill actress Lolita Chakrabarti as Gertrude.

Branagh directed Hiddleston in his breakthrough movie, Thor.

Hiddleston said the role offered "almost limitless possibilities for interpretation".

image captionHiddleston and Branagh appeared in TV series Wallander together

"I can't wait to explore them, with this great cast, at Rada. Kenneth Branagh and I have long talked about working on the play together, and now felt like the right time, at the right place," he said.

The production is a joint one between Branagh's theatre company and Rada. It will run from 1 to 23 September at Rada's Jerwood Vanbrugh theatre in London.

Tickets will be available through a ballot, which is open from 12:00 BST on Tuesday 1 August. The online ballot will close at 18:00 on Sunday 6 August, while people can enter by phone until 17:00 on Saturday 5 August.

Providing 'wider opportunities'

All proceeds will go towards Rada's Attenborough campaign, which is aiming to raise £20m to upgrade one of its main London sites and to provide Rada with its first on-site student accommodation.

Hiddleston added: "The performing arts exist to bring people together, not to break or keep them apart.

"I hope the funds raised by the production will help Rada continue to provide a wider field of equal opportunity to train actors, stage managers and technical theatre artists, from every background, to a standard of excellence and professionalism. We need to keep the doors open for everyone."

Branagh pulled out of directing Jude Law in Hamlet several years ago, reportedly because he was tied up in preparation for directing Thor.

image copyrightAFP

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