Attention Cumberb****es! Benedict Cumberbatch, best known for television’s Sherlock, is up in arms about fans leaking scenes from the first night of previews of his performance of Hamlet prior to the official press night.
Perhaps if reviews were better, Cumberbatch wouldn’t be so chuffed, but The Daily Mail and The Telegraph have skewered the whole show.
Benedict Cumberbatch addressed a crowd of fans outside Barbican Centre, letting them know he noticed fans filming his performance.
“I can see red lights in the auditorium, and it may not be any of you here that did that, but it’s blindingly obvious. It’s mortifying, and there’s nothing less supportive or enjoyable as an actor being on stage experiencing that. I can’t give you what I want to give you which is a live performance that you’ll remember — hopefully in your minds and brains whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent — rather than on your phones.”
But he threw them a bone, asking them to spread the word about Hamlet on his behalf.
“I don’t use social media,” he said, “and I’d really appreciate it if you did tweet, blog, hashtag the s**t out of this one for me.” Presumably he hopes all that tweeting and blogging will be text based.
Fans have eagerly awaited the premiere of Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet (August 25th), and the press are accused of breaking an unwritten rule of reviewing stage performances. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Mark Shenton, lead critic for the theater bible, The Stage, argues that critics should not have reviewed Hamlet just yet.
“A lot will change between the first preview and first night,” he added. “As critics, it is our job to respect the artistic process; and part of the process is an acknowledgement that they need previews to work on their show before we pass judgment.”
Kate Maltby, theater critic for The Times called Benedict Cumberbatch’s rendition of the great Dane “Hamlet for kids raised on Moulin Rouge,” and “pure theatrical indulgence.”
Benedict Cumberbatch really wants fans watching his Hamlet performances to silence their cell phones: http://t.co/LGFIpOEsHl— E! Online (@eonline) August 10, 2015
Benedict Cumberbatch is in a 12-week run of the play, which is selling out, largely due to its everyman-sensitive pricing. Taping the show might have been permitted in the past, but it won’t be in the future. The normally sweet and gentle Cumberbatch issued what is for him, a stern warning.
“We’ve got devices coming in on Monday that will have people detected and evicted.
“I don’t want that to happen. That’s a horrible way to have to police what’s a wonderful thing.”
Do you think the press will be kinder to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet on opening night?
[Photo courtesy of Alberto Rodriguez/Getty Images]