As one critic stated upfront: the press night is a major anti-climax. Nevertheless, while the verdicts don’t make a blind bit of difference to the box office on a production that sold out at record speed a year ago, it’s time to take pause and review the reviews for #HamletBarbican, a.k.a. the Benedict Cumberbatch show. While the actor himself fared decently, particularly for his thoughtful delivery of the play’s soliloquys, most critics were not won over by the production as a whole, directed by Lyndsey Turner and designed by Es Devlin.
(In my opinion – which counts for little, as I have not seen the production and, after all the hype and hysteria, have little desire to – I don’t think the pressure that the artists involved have been subjected to, not least Cumberbatch himself, is conducive to creating great art.)