Benedict Cumberbatch To Play ‘Hamlet’ In London Stage Return

Benedict Cumberbatch will go from playing a high-functioning sociopath to a troubled Danish prince next summer in a West End production of Hamlet. The Sherlock star will play the eponymous Shakespeare character in a stage run at the Barbican Theatre for 12 weeks beginning in August 2015. The casting had been rumored previously, but was confirmed today by the Barbican as it announced its lineup for the 2014-2015 season. Tony Award winner Sonia Friedman is producing. Her long list of credits includes The Book Of Mormon and last year’s Tom Hanks-starrer Lucky Guy on Broadway, and this year’s Olivier-nominated Chimerica. That play’s Lyndsey Turner, who is one of three women up for the Best Director Olivier in a strong year for female theater helmers, will direct the new take on Hamlet. Cumberbatch was last on stage in London in the National Theatre’s 2011 production of Frankenstein which was directed by Danny Boyle and co-starred Jonny Lee Miller. He’s one of a handful of British screen stars who have recently tackled Shakespeare on the West End including Jude Law, up for an Olivier in Henry V, and David Tennant, who recently played Richard II.

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