Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet: Phones or No Phones? That Is the Question
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After eight weeks on stage Benedict Cumberbatch's reign as Hamlet is proceeding into its final month. The performance has received mixed reviews and Cumberbatch has been the recipient of criticism for his suggested ignorance to modern technology. The unforgettable video that flooded onto social media just four days after the opening show set the tone for the whole audience experience for Lyndsey Turner's adaptation of Hamlet. In his message to fans and theatre-goers Cumberbatch made it clear that he did not wish to be filmed or have a recording device in sight during the performace. The Sherlock actor, although seeming rather riled, politely asked his fans to not continue filiming his performance as it was "mortifying". He elucidated how there is "nothing that's less supportive or enjoyable as an actor on stage experiencing that". I attended a performance of Hamlet on 14th August, a week after Cumberbatch had made his plea, and yet there were still people sneakily attempting to film the perfromance. The question I procrastinate on is whether Cumberbatch was right to ask for no filming or whether he should have considered the prospect that his fans just wanted to be as close to him as possible and that in a culture where technology is prevalent the filming and photographing of the show was inevitable.
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