The Verdict: Critics Review Benedict Cumberbatch in London Hamlet

The Verdict   The Verdict: Critics Review Benedict Cumberbatch in London Hamlet
Since previews began Aug. 5, the London press has written about little else besides Benedict Cumberbatch's London stage return in the title role in Hamlet, with three major outlets - The Times, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail - publishing reviews after the very first public performance in a complete breach of standard protocol. Now the rest of the more responsible critics finally get their turn to review the production, following its official opening Aug. 25, for a run through Oct. 31.
Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch

Critics are filing their reviews; will continue to update as they come in:

BBC News

Chicago Tribune

The Daily Mail The Evening Standard

The Guardian

The Hollywood Reporter

The Huffington Post

The Independent

The Londonist

The London Times

The New York Times

The Stage

The Telegraph

Time Out

What's On Stage

Here are links to the reviews published Aug. 5, the day after the first preview:

The London Times

The Daily Mail

Cumberbatch is, of course, the main event, but he is joined by a cast that also features Ciarán Hinds as Claudius, Jim Norton as Polonius, Leo Bill as Horatio, Sian Brooke as Ophelia, Anastasia Hille as Gertrude and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as Laertes.

The production is directed by Lyndsey Turner, with sets by Es Devlin, costumes by Katrina Lindsay, video by Luke Halls, lighting by Jane Cox, music by Jon Hopkins, sound by Chris Shutt and movement by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

Cumberbatch is best known for playing the title role in BBC's "Sherlock" and his Oscar-nominated film performance as Alan Turing in "The Imitation Game." Stage credits include After the Dance and Frankenstein (both at the National Theatre).

Hinds has appeared on Broadway in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Seafarer and Closer. He was last seen on the London stage in The Night Alive at the Donmar Warehouse. Other London stage credits include Machinal (National Theatre) and Assassins (Donmar Warehouse). TV credits include "Game of Thrones," "Above Suspicion" and "Jane Eyre," and film credits include "The Road to Perdition," "Munich," "Excalibur," "There Will Be Blood," "In Bruges" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

Norton won both an Olivier and Tony Award for his performance as Richard Harkin in The Seafarer. His most recent appearance on Broadway was as Candy in Of Mice and Men

Bill was recently seen at the National Theatre in Light Shining in Buckinghamshire. Other theatre credits include The Reporter, The Hothouse and Pains of Youth (all National Theatre), Posh (Royal Court and West End) and The Glass Menagerie (Young Vic).

Brooke has been seen on the London stage at the Almeida (in Reasons to be Pretty and My City), at Hampstead Theatre (in Ecstasy and In The Club), at the Royal Court (in Wanderlust and Dying City) and at the National Theatre (in Dido, Queen of Carthage).

Hille has been seen at the National Theatre (in The Effect, Dido, Queen of Carthage, Waves, Women of Troy, Dream Play, The Oresteia and Richard III), at the Almeida (in The Master Builder and The Cenci), at the Royal Court (in Forty Winks and Ashes to Ashes) and at Shakespeare's Globe (in As You Like It and Two Gentlemen of Verona). She has appeared extensively with Cheek by Jowl and the RSC.

Holdbrook-Smith has appeared at the National Theatre in Edward II, Antigone and Death and the King's Horseman and at the Young Vic in Feast, Joe Turner's Come and Gone and The Changeling.

Also in the cast are Harry Aird (Soldier), Eddie Arnold (Danish Captain, Servant), Nigel Carrington (Servant, Cornelius), Ruairi Conaghan (Player King), Rudi Dharmalingam (Guildenstern), Colin Haigh (Priest, Messenger), Paul Ham (Official), Diveen Henry (Player Queen, Messenger), Karl Johnson (Ghost of Hamlet’s father), , Amaka Okafor (Official), Dan Parr (Barnardo), Jan Shepherd (Courtier), Morag Siller (Voltemand), Matthew Steer (Rosencrantz), Sergo Vares (Fortinbras) and Dwane Walcott (Marcellus).

The entire run is sold out. For details, visit

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