Belfast Telegraph

Andrew Scott: Shakespeare is not just for the elite

The Sherlock star is currently playing Hamlet.

Andrew Scott has accused academics of kidnapping Shakespeare as he called for a more diverse audience at the theatre.

The actor is currently starring as Hamlet at the Harold Pinter Theatre in west London and said the playwright would have wanted his work to reach everybody.

“Mr Shakespeare is a genius and I think so often it’s badly taught,” the Sherlock star told Simon Mayo on Drivetime on BBC Radio 2.

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Andrew Scott (Ian West/PA)

“He was a real populist and he wanted it to be for everybody and it’s been kidnapped slightly I think by academics.

“We have this attitude that we should be very reverent about it but he wanted it to be seen by everybody and he was really earthy and really into everybody understanding it so in this production we’ve really wanted everybody to relate to it.

“There’s no point in doing it if people don’t relate to it now,” he added.

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Andrew Scott (Anthony Devlin/PA)

The production offers more than 300 tickets at less than £30 for each night of the run in a bid to draw in a wider audience.

Scott praised the initiative, saying: “It is for everybody, I hate the idea of Mercedes outside and drivers picking up posh people and that’s all it is for.

“Now more than ever we need art to tell us how to live a better life and this is the best play ever written and it should be for everyone.”

Hamlet runs at the Harold Pinter Theatre until September 2.

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