Benedict Cumberbatch Set to Play Hamlet

Benedict CumberbatchSherlock Holmes and Star Trek star, Benedict Cumberbatch is set to play in William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Hamlet. The 37-year-old actor is set to star as Hamlet in August through October of 2015. The play will be held at London’s Barbican Centre seating 1,160, and will be directed by Lyndsey Turner for a Sonia Friedman Production.

Director Turner is a Olivier Award nominee director whose other works include directing Lucy Kirkwood’s play Chimerica which could be seen at the Almedia Theatre also in London. According to BBC News, her play Machinal, which is a new rendition of Sofia Treadwell’s 1928 version, has just finished its acclaimed production on Broadway.

This production of Hamlet is done by Sonia Friedman, a Tony Award winner who has expressed her excitement to work with Turner and Cumberbatch. She recently has described Cumberbatch as one of the most gifted actors of his time. Friedman is also known for her work on The Book of Mormon and Broadway’s Lucky Guy which starred Tom Hanks.

Cumberbatch himself accepted the Olivier Award in 2011 for his theater performance in Frankenstein, directed by Danny Goyle which could be seen at the National Theatre. Likewise, Cumberbatch has similar experience with Shakespeare, as he has starred in on-stage roles in Romeo and Juliet and starred as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, both of which were located at the Open Air Theatre. Some of the best known roles for Cumberbatch’s on-screen performances include the BBC’s new series rendition of Sherlock Holmes, along with his role in 12 Years a Slave, and his Necromancer role in The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug.

His acclaimed on-screen performances also include appearances in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and War Horse, along with his roles in Star Trek Into the Darkness and Julian Assange’s The Fifth Estate. He is one of the many British actors who have recently tackled Shakespearean roles including Jude Law who is up for an Olivier Award for his role in Henry V. In 2013, Cumberbatch was voted Sexiest Man of the Year by the readers of Empire Online. His television role as Sherlock beginning in 2011 has made Cumberbatch a star and has opened doors for other notorious roles.

According to BBC News, Cumberbatch told the Daily Telegraph in 2012 that the role of Hamlet was one of high interest to him. This role will be his first on-stage performance since his role in Goyle’s Frankenstein. According to Entertainment Wise, he told Telegraph Mandrake two years prior that he had hoped to be returning to his theater performances soon in anticipation of playing the role as Hamlet. Cumberbatch is now set to play Hamlet on the London stage for a 12-week run in late of 2015.

Cumberbatch is a graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and has studied at the University of Manchester. This comes as no surprise after growing up with parent actors Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham. With a producer and director combo that comes with excellent credentials, and with Cumberbatch’s own experience with on-stage performances, there is no doubt that his upcoming role as Shakespeare’s Danish prince Hamlet is highly anticipated.

By Sarah Widger

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