Dan Stevens, Mark Gatiss and Allen Leech support Benedict Cumberbatch on Hamlet press night

The Sherlock actor trod the boards in front of a star-studded audience at the Barbican Theatre yesterday evening

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After three weeks of previews – and an almighty amount of media build-up – the Barbican’s production of Hamlet held its press night on Tuesday evening. And what a star-studded affair it was. 

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Benedict Cumberbatch was the main attraction as the Danish prince, but the audience he played to was full of famous faces including his Sherlock co-star Mark Gatiss and Downton Abbey actors Dan Stevens and Allen Leech (who he starred with in The Fifth Estate and The Imitation Game).

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While the Shakespearean tragedy has earned mixed responses (you can read our early review here), Cumberbatch has been singled out for praise – although none more glowing than the reaction from his mother, Wanda Ventham, who told reporters after the play that she was “extraordinarily proud” of her son’s performance.

“[He’s] a bloody good Hamlet,” she said. “He was quite lively growing up but I thought that was phenomenal.” 

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Hamlet runs at the Barbican Theatre until 31st October. 

Read more: 

Hamlet first look: “Not what we were expecting from Benedict Cumberbatch – but only he could pull it off”

Benedict Cumberbatch stops by Barbican stage door to ask fans not to film Hamlet

Why Benedict Cumberbatch fans are the perfect audience for Hamlet