Friday 15 November 2019

Cumberbatch a bloody good Hamlet, say his parents

Early reviews for Cumberbatch's performance have been mixed
Early reviews for Cumberbatch's performance have been mixed
Benedict Cumberbatch's wife Sophie Hunter was at the press night for Hamlet

Benedict Cumberbatch's mother has described him as "a bloody good Hamlet" following his performance on the official press night.

The Sherlock star's parents, Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham, joined a host of celebrities, including his wife Sophie Hunter, in the audience.

Speaking after his performance at the Barbican theatre in London, Ms Ventham said they were "extraordinarily proud".

Commenting on the liveliness of his performance, she added: "He was quite lively growing up, but I thought that was phenomenal."

Downton Abbey stars Dan Stevens and Allen Leech were also among the celebrity guests. Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss, a close friend of Cumberbatch, said he was also "very proud".

Cumberbatch will be playing the lead role in the Shakespeare drama until the end of October.

Gatiss said Cumberbatch delivered a flawless, energetic performance that embodied the light and dark moments of Shakepeare's tragedy.

While the first half belongs to the Sherlock star, the second half gives Sian Brooke (Ophelia) and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Laertes) their chance to shine.

Director Lyndsey Turner's version is contemporary and modern with the cast wearing trainers and Cumberbatch dressed-down in t-shirts.

Given the big-screen feel of some of the scenes it makes sense that from October 15 the play will be broadcast to cinemas around the world.

This is a play that may not appeal to hardcore fans of Shakespeare, who want to dissect every naunce and soliloquy.

But it will surely have the Cumberbatch fans flocking to try to get tickets. All in all, to be or not to be totally won over, that is the question...

PA Media

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