Hamlet Barbican Reviews

H2The Stage – Mark Shenton – 26 August 2015
Cumberbatch, lately better known for his Oscar-nominated film work and television fame, but who began his career in the theatre, brings a close-up, brooding intensity to Hamlet that hovers between both worlds.

Daily Mail – Quentin Letts – 26 August 2015
Mr Cumberbatch gives a reminder that he is a top-rank stage actor.

Financial Times – Sarah Henning – 26 August 2015
But this is also an epic, restless engagement with the text, highlighting the price of silence, led by a charismatic and intelligent Hamlet in Cumberbatch.

Evening Standard – Henry Hitchings – 26 August 2015
He’s at his best when delivering Shakespeare’s philosophically charged soliloquies, to each of which he brings an intelligence that’s both fresh and unsettling.

Variety – Matt Trueman – 26 August 2015
Cumberbatch manages to make Hamlet messianic, a savior for a lost generation…

Huffington Post – Victoria Sadler – 26 August 2015
…credit to Benedict, he commits fully to this interpretation and his performance is athletic and bold, and his vocal projection is impressive.

The Arts Desk – Matt Wolf – 26 August 2015
Cumberbatch is quick-witted, sympathetic, and intensely physically nimble

New Statesman – Helen Lewis – 26 August 2015
it’s a low-key, deliberately un-starry performance, captivating your attention without screaming, “Look at me, I’m giving you my Hamlet!

Chicago Tribune – Sam Marlowe – 26 August 2015
…it is an absorbing performance, crammed with nuance and flickering dark wit, and at times radiating an unnerving intensity.

New York Times – Ben Brantley – 25 August 2015
In those, he is superb, meticulously tracing lines of thought into revelations that stun, elate, exasperate and sadden him. There’s not a single soliloquy that doesn’t shed fresh insight into how Hamlet thinks.

The Telegraph – Dominic Cavendish – 25 August 2015
…in his own way he stands equal to the best modern Hamlets, makes the part his – and yes, justifies the hysteria.

Deadline – Joe Utichi – 25 August 2015
Cumberbatch is exceptionally good, merging character and actor without the latter dominating

Londonist – Stuart Black – 25 August 2015
And, let it be said, his performance is excellent — with flawless enunciation and a sweaty, desperate energy that together manage to propel this circumlocutory tragedy forwards.

The Guardian – Michael Billington – 25 August 2015
It is a performance full of good touches and quietly affecting in Hamlet’s final, stoical acceptance of death.

The Hollywood Reporter – Leslie Felperin – 25 August 2015
Neither is epoch-defining, but this modern-dress, light-on-gimmicks interpretation packs a strong supporting ensemble, while Cumberbatch’s graceful, witty but somewhat self-effacing turn is certainly no disgrace.

Time Out – Andrzej Lukowski – 25 August 2015
He speaks the verse wonderfully and is a lithe, charismatic presence on stage

WhatsonStage – Michael Coveney – 25 August 2015
And here’s the rub: Benedict Cumberbatch delivers the great soliloquies superbly, urgently, intelligently and full of concentration, right to the top of the Barbican.

Heat – Boyd Hilton – 25 August 2015
Yes, we’re all expecting him to be brilliant, but Benedict’s performance is also surprising, unpredictable and extraordinary from start to finish.