Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch begs fans to stop Hamlet flashing

Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch begs fans to stop Hamlet flashing


norman lebrecht

August 09, 2015

The actor, whose run-up to Hamlet has been hounded by parasitic press hacks, has implored fans not to take pictures inside the theatre. He warned that new devices were being installed that would identify picture takers.

Cumberbatch said: ‘I can’t give you what I want to give you, which is a live performance that you will remember and hopefully in your minds and brains, whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, rather than on your phones. So please don’t…’

He is very well mannered.



  • Zenaida says:

    At many theatres in China (I’ve seen it at the NCPA in Beijing and at the Grand Theatre in Shanghai), ushers stay in the hall after the performance has started and use a device that sends a red laser beam to theatergoers who use their mobile devices or cameras during the performance, whether to talk or record. This public and noiseless “shaming” has proved to be very effective.

  • CDH says:

    An American TV series I watched mentioned that signals could be blocked out at a concert hall to avoid the very sort of disruption these devices cause — not just inside but for a few feet outside. was that a pure fictional conceit? I wondered why (and this show was about 6 or 7 years old) more concert halls did not install this tool. Here in Canada, and possibly in the US, where the show was set, there are all sorts of Charter and First Amendment “rights” involved. But wile I agree that constitutional documents must be fluid and respond to the times we live in, I reject the notion of the “right” to faff around with these devices in theatres of any sort.

    I feel for Cumberbatch, who will be all too aware of the attraction of this series of performances, which does not reduce the challenge any actor must feel when essaying Hamlet onstage. But I do not fancy his chances of getting through to these SELFISH MORONS.