Hamlet found not guilty

On 27 November, the witty defence team comprising of Shaheed Fatima QC and John Kelsey-Fry QC scored a victory as the audience jury found Hamlet, played by the talented John Heffernan, not guilty of murder on stage at the Wyndham’s Theatre.

The trial, presided by the illustrious Lady Justice Hallett, was a fabulous fundraising production that saw the brilliant star cast including Meera Syal as Gertrude, Tom Conti as Claudius, Lee Mack as Player King and Ruby Bentall as Ophelia, deliver fantastic performances that filled the room with laughter.

The defence team saw Jonathan Laidlaw QC and Ian Winter QC do their best to convince the audience that Hamlet was just another enemy of the arras, aided by Claudius who confirmed Hamlet was “guilty as sin”. Lady Justice Hallett described the acquittal to be “against the weight of evidence and against all reason.”

Our young people from Malmesbury Primary School and Queen Elizabeth Boys School performed flash-back scenes that left the audience in awe at their theatrical and comical talent.

The sell-out event raised over £60,000 towards the Festival, helping us to work with even more children this year. We are deeply grateful to the event’s actors, QCs, judges, jurors and schools and our sponsors, particularly the Cultural Capital Fund, who have put huge time and effort into making it a success and who are highly valued supporters of SSF.

SSF is a cultural education charity that exists to instil curiosity and empathy, aspiration and self-esteem, literacy and teamwork - giving young people the confidence to see that all the world is their stage.

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