A regular column from South Holland Centre in Spalding.
Reviewing previews is a risky enterprise and there has been some predictable disagreement amongst the critics.
Jan Moir happily wrote in the Daily Mail: “His Hamlet in a hoodie was electrifying, a performance that veered from moments of genuinely hilarious comedy to plunge down to the very depths of throat-scalding tragedy.”
And in the Telegraph Serena Davies feels that director Lyndsey Turner and designer Es Devlin, “have created a lavish, epic Hamlet for the Barbican’s vast stage.”
But in The Times Kate Maltby was slightly less impressed, writing: “Cumberbatch has all the energy Hamlet requires…but this is Hamlet for kids raised on Moulin Rouge… a wasted opportunity.”
Meanwhile Cumberbatch himself has put out a plea to his legions of fans not to record his performances on mobile phones.
He says “I can’t give you what I want to give you, which is a live performance that you’ll remember in your minds and brains, rather than on your phones.”
The hazards of his near cult status among Sherlock fans brings its own challenges it seems.
It has all promoted discussion of the play with Shakespeare’s work, as ever, adapting to another new era and new audiences.
The good news is that you can come and judge for yourselves as the long sold out Barbican Hamlet is beamed live to the South Holland Centre by NT Live on Thursday, October 15 at 7pm.
The Cumberbatch effect means that tickets are already in high demand!