Benedict Cumberbatch Begs Fans Not to Record Hamlet Performances, Says It's 'Mortifying'
Benedict Cumberbatch is Supreme-ly in favor of proper theatre etiquette. The actor, who will play the Sorcerer Supreme/Doctor Strange in Marvel’s upcoming movie, is currently performing in a production of Hamlet in London. After his show on Saturday night, he approached fans waiting outside the Barbican to ask them not to illegally record the performances.
“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,” he said. “It’s mortifying, and there’s nothing less supportive or enjoyable as an actor being on stage experiencing that. And 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.”
He continued, “This isn’t me blaming you, this is just me asking you to just ripple it out there, in the brilliant beautiful way that you do with your funny electronic things.”
We’ll all soon get to see Cumberbatch in action as the mad prince of Denmark, anyway. For all of those unable to travel to London, the production will be broadcast to cinemas all over the world starting on Oct. 15. Until then, watch the actor’s message to the fans in the video below.
Under director Lyndsey Turner, Cumberbatch made his debut in Hamlet this past Wednesday, and he’ll continue the 12-week run through Oct. 31. As he told the crowd, it’s been “one hell of a week.” The Telegraph’s Serena Davies wrote Cumberbatch “commands and surprises,” while The Daily Mail remarked, “Hamlet in a hoodie was electrifying.” On the opposite spectrum is The London Times’ Katie Maltby, who gave the play two stars and called it a “production aimed squarely at those Cumber-fans.”