Benedict Cumberbatch greeted a host of fans waiting for him outside London's Barbican Theatre on Saturday after his performance in Shakespeare's "Hamlet." The actor's performance, after a Wednesday preview show, was hailed by theater lovers and critics alike as “electrifying,” “sublime” and “riveting.”
But Cumberbatch had a special request: The 39-year-old actor pleaded with fans not to film his performance using smartphones or cameras.
Cumberbatch told the fans that during Saturday’s performance, he “could see a red light at about the third row on the right,” adding that “it’s mortifying,” the BBC reported. The immensely popular “Sherlock” star said that he did not want that to happen again. “So listen, this isn’t me blaming you, this is just me asking you to just ripple it out there, in the brilliantly useful way that you do, with the funny, electronic things. I really appreciate it,” Cumberbatch said.
He told the fans that the venue plans to install devices that will have shutterbugs “detected and evicted.” Cumberbatch added that he did not mind photos being taken outside the venue. Besides, he said that he did not use social media and would appreciate if the "Cumberbabes" [a popular name for Cumberbatch fans] would tweet, blog and hashtag “the s--- out of this one for me,” drawing laughs.
The show’s producers said in a statement that official photography from the production is due to be released this week and therefore any subsequent photography from the production is unauthorized. The production is directed by Lyndsey Turner and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions.
The new production of “Hamlet” opened Wednesday and runs through Oct. 31. Cumberbatch stars, portraying the Shakespearean tragic character as “Hamlet in a hoodie.”
The role is one of the biggest challenges of the actor’s career. Hamlet is renowned for reportedly being the most difficult role in theater. The character has been performed by greats including Sir Laurence Olivier, Mark Rylance, Peter O’Toole and, most recently, David Tennant.
The 12-week production sold out in minutes in August 2014, with the production becoming the fastest-selling show in London theater history. T ickets are now being sold on eBay for $300. The last time the "Sherlock" actor performed onstage was in “Frankenstein” in 2011.