(from left) Grantham Coleman as Hamlet, Patrick Kerr as Polonius, Kevin Hafso-Koppman as Rosencrantz, and Nora Carroll as Guildenstern in Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, directed by Barry Edelstein. Photo credit: Jim Cox

The Old Globe is giving you a present for Shakespeare’s birthday – a free audio production by the cast of the theater’s acclaimed 2017 Hamlet.

Hamlet: On the Radio will air in two parts on KPBS (89.5 FM) this weekend – at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, then again in May and June.

Grantham Coleman, who played the grief-stricken prince four years ago during the Old Globe’s summer season, returns to the role for the broadcast. He talked to Globe Rising about the timelessness of the Bard.

Popular TV shows like Sons of Anarchy and Empire, he argued, are rooted in Shakespeare – linking them to Hamlet and King Lear.

“These stories, we still do them because they still show humanity, they still show the truth of how we operate as people and they give us the language to actually express it and say it,” he said.

Our critic, Pat Launer, called the language in the Globe’s 2017 Hamlet “beautifully handled throughout” and the story “clearly told and well-articulated.”

She also praised Grantham, saying he “attacks the role with ferocity. He’s a formidable Hamlet: angry, aggressive, athletic and prone to self-loathing.”

If you miss the weekend’s broadcast, you’ll have more chances to hear Hamlet:

  • Take in the whole tragedy at once, at 2 p.m. May 2, and 2 p.m. June 27, as both parts air consecutively.
  • Try it in two parts again, at 7 p.m. June 18-19.
  • After June 28, the production will be available on the Globe’s YouTube channel as well as by podcast on the theatre’s Spotify and Apple channels.

In addition to the radio, tune into the performance on the KPBS app and website, or on smart speakers.