We get it, London. You’re excited to see Benedict Cumberbatch back on stage, in Hamlet, no less. It’s exciting, and perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some audience members, since tickets are very hard to come by. But try to limit your memories to your ticket stub, program (or programme, as you spell it), or other keepsakes you can buy in the theater. In other words, please do not take photos or videos of the performance. Even Cumberbatch himself is begging you.
After the Saturday, August 8 evening performance of Hamlet, Cumberbatch visited fans waiting outside the theater and asked them to spread the word that audience members taking photos and videos of the performances have gotten out of hand. He asked them to “tweet, blog, hashtag the shit out of this one for me. I can see cameras, I can see red lights in the auditorium, and it may not be any of you here that did that, but it’s blindingly obvious. It’s mortifying, and there’s nothing less supportive or enjoyable as an actor being on stage experiencing that.”
Cumberbatch explained it wasn’t just the fact that taking photos or videos is prohibited, but it’s also incredibly distracting to the actors on stage. On top of that, it’s no way to enjoy the performance, adding, “I can’t give you what I want to give you, which is a live performance that you’ll remember, hopefully in your minds and brains — whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent — rather than on your phones.”
Hamlet runs through October 31, so let’s hope that Cumberbatch doesn’t have to deal with many more distractions. Here at Daily Actor, we like to support actors in any way possible. So here’s our part to help out Cumberbatch… #StopFilmingHamlet