Benedict Cumberbatch Kindly Asks Fans To Stop Taking His Picture During Hamlet

Photo: David Fisher/Rex/REX USA
Benedict Cumberbatch has taken on the London stage in the title role of the Barbican Centre's production of Hamlet, but the poor guy is having a difficult time slipping into the mind of the Danish prince with a sea of smart phones staring at him from the audience. Without the kind of classic, cellphone-shaming videos movie theaters employ prior to showing a film, Cumberbatch relied on his charms to convince theatergoers the time to snap pics is after the curtain closes.

He explained, "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 very, very obvious. ... It's mortifying. There's nothing less supportive or enjoyable as an actor being onstage and experiencing that." Cumberbatch's speech was delivered outside the theater doors, so it isn't really ironic that the whole thing was captured on an army of smart phones.

Cumberbatch is just the latest celebrity raging (though, to be fair, Cumberbatch was really politely requesting) against cell phone use in the theaters. Patti LuPone snatched a texting theatergoer's phone during a performance of Shows for Days last month. Also in July an audience member jumped on stage before a performance of Broadway's Hand to God to attempt to charge his phone in the set's (fake) outlet. Selfies by the theaters' signs are great, but I think everyone can agree that your phone and its camera are best kept in your pocket once the curtain goes up.

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