7 Blog

Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Cumberbatch: From ‘Sherlock’ to Shakespeare

You may know the name Benedict Cumberbatch. Aside from its unusual sound, rolling as it does off the tongue, it belongs to an extremely talented actor who has starred in a number of television and movie roles.

Cumberbatch was Sherlock Holmes in the BBC-produced series "Sherlock," while he played Alan Turing in "The Imitation Game" and the various incarnations of the Marvel Comics superhero "Doctor Strange." And that's barely a beginning of his thespian accomplishments.

Cumberbatch is also a talented stage actor as he proved when he starred in the title role for a 12-week of "Hamlet" in 2015. That production, which was produced by the National Theatre Company, is what can be seen in National Theatre's "Hamlet 2018 Encore," which will play in two area theaters.

"Hamlet 2018 Encore" will play at 7 p.m. March 8 at Regal's Northtown Mall cinemas and at 2 p.m. March 18 at the Bing Crosby Theater. (Ticket information is included in the above links.)

If you're wondering how good Cumberbatch is, here are some comments:

Ben Brantley, New York Times: "(Cumberbatch) 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."

Susannah Clapp, The Guardian: "I don’t think I have ever seen a more rational Hamlet. When Benedict Cumberbatch tots up his bodkins, whips, fardels and slings in 'To be or not to be,' he might be enlisting the audience’s support in a debate about assisted dying. Each possibility is laid out with complete clarity and assessed. Like a first-rate barrister in training, he nips around his mind to argue against himself."

Be prepared: The screening is three and a half hours long. Which, for Shakespeare fans, is not long enough by half.