Benedict Cumberbatch has pleaded his fans to help stop fellow theatre-goers from filming his stage performance of Hamlet.
In a video shot outside the stage door of London’s Barbican Theatre, the Sherlock actor addressed a crowd of supporters, expressing his pain-staking contempt for the various “cameras and red lights” he had spotted in the audience of last night’s performance. “It may not be any of you here, but it’s blindingly obvious,” he said, adding that the sight of distracting lights and flashes in the audience was “mortifying.”
“There’s nothing less enjoyable or supportive as an actor on stage experiencing that,” he continued. “I can’t give you what I want to give you, which is a performance that you will hopefully remember in your minds and brains rather than on your phones.” Cumberbatch then asked his fans to “tweet, blog and hashtag the sh*t out of [his plea]”, in the hopes of spreading the message to future audience members seeing the play in the next 11 weeks of it’s run.
The actor also warned that the theatre is currently installing security devices to ensure that those using filming equipment during the play will be detected and evicted. “I don’t want that to happen, that’s a horrible way to have to police what’s a wonderful thing,” Cumberbatch continued. “This isn’t me blaming you, this is just me asking you to ripple it out there in the brilliant beautiful way that you do with your funny electronic things. I’d really appreciate it.”
Other actors, including James McAvoy and Kevin Spacey, have previously criticised theatregoers for using phones and recording equipment during performances. Meanwhile, Cumberbatch’s latest version of the time-honoured Shakespearean tragedy is the hottest show around right now, having already sold thousands of advanced tickets.
Watch the video of Cumberbatch’s plea, below.