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Shakespeare’s Hamlet at Cineplex on Sunday

Published:Wednesday | November 11, 2015 | 1:19 PM
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (at left as Laertes) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Hamlet) in ‘Hamlet’ at the Barbican Theatre.

"Benedict Cumberbatch is a blazing five-star Hamlet."

- Daily Telegraph

"This is a Hamlet for a world on the edge: a warning from history, and a plea for new ideas from a new generation."

- Variety

"One of the most visually and atmospherically stunning productions I've ever seen, of anything, ever."

- Time Out

Shakespeare's Hamlet screens at Palace Cineplex on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

Academy Award nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC's Sherlock, The Imitation Game, Frankenstein at the National Theatre) takes on the title role of Shakespeare's great tragedy. The play was directed by Lyndsey Turner (Posh, Chimerica) and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions.

The cast also includes Horatio Leo Bill, Ophelia Sian Brooke, Gertrude Anastasia Hille, Claudius Ciaran Hinds, Laertes Kobna Holdbrook-Smith and Polonius Jim Norton.

As a country arms itself for war, a family tears itself apart. Forced to avenge his father's death, but paralysed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the State.

The Cumberbatch Hamlet, which was sold out in just over seven hours in August 2014, one year ahead of the August to

October 2015 run of the play, was filmed. It is now being shown at more than 550 cinemas in the UK and beamed around the world to several countries, including Jamaica.

Cumberbatch, who has been credited with introducing a new generation of fans to the Shakespeare play, has said that Hamlet in cinemas is a great way of making the play accessible. Producer Sonia Friedman added that the NT Live initiative gives the "opportunity to thousands of people who are not able to see our limited run at the Barbican".

It is expected that the eventual global audience for Hamlet will be in the hundreds of thousands.

"It's a strongly anticipated production," David Sabel, head of NT Live, noted, adding that Cumberbatch's career had exploded in recent years, making him hot. Sabel said that the National Theatre's Frankenstein, which starred Cumberbatch along with Jonny Lee Miller, has been shown several times in cinemas since its first screening four years ago.

A British actor, Cumberbatch's television work dates back to 2000, with his most widely known being Sherlock Holmes in the series, Sherlock, since 2010. Cumberbatch's first film appearance, was in the 2003 film, To Kill a King, and he went on to appear in the films Atonement (2007),Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and War Horse (2011).

He has starred in the films Amazing Grace as William Pitt the Younger (2006), Star Trek Into Darkness as Khan (2013), 12 Years a Slave as William Prince Ford (2013), The Fifth Estate as Julian Assange (2013) and The Imitation Game as Alan Turing (2014). From 2012 to 2014, through voice and motion capture, he played the characters of Smaug and the Necromancer in The Hobbit film series.

Cumberbatch has received numerous awards and nominations for acting, including two Laurence Olivier Award nominations, winning Best Actor in a Play for Frankenstein. He has also received three Primetime Emmy Award nominations, winning Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Sherlock. His portrayal of Alan Turing in The Imitation Game earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

In addition, he has received six British Academy of Film and Television Arts nominations, five Screen Actors Guild Award nominations and two Golden Globe Award nominations, among others.

In 2014, Time Magazine included him in its annual Time 100 as one of the Most Influential People in the World. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in June 2015 for his services to the performing arts and also charity.

National Theatre Live is the National Theatre's groundbreaking initiative to broadcast theatre live from the stage to cinemas around the world. Each performance is captured and broadcast live (or 'as live', depending on location) via satellite to over 2,000 venues in more than 40 countries.

The success of NT Live, which shows productions from the Donmar and the West End as well as the NT, has created more interest in going to the theatre.

Tickets are for sale at the Palace Cineplex box and via the web at, with a value added Palace Card.