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Benedict Cumberbatch to play Hamlet - but that's not the really exciting prospect

There are rumours that Benedict Cumberbatch is going to take on Hamlet next Autumn. It was kind of inevitable what with him saying he wanted to play the part and being, arguably, the UK's biggest acting name currently.

Does this get me excited? Well of course but not purely because of Cumberbatch. Naturally I think he's a talented and mecurial enough to have an interesting stab at the Dane, particularly if Lyndsey Turner is directing.

Turner's back catalogue of work has tended to be contemporary productions most recently the multimedia epic that is Chimerica and this is what starts making this Hamlet a really interesting prospect but what seals it, is its potential location. The news story hints that this production might not make its home in one of the grand old West End theatres but 'a non-traditional theatre space'. My fervent hope is for the latter. 

Benedict Cumberbatch will be a big draw wherever the play is put on but the West End theatres do tend to play it a little bit safe, for obvious commercial reasons. I think released from the shackles of a West End stage there is far more scope for imagination and inventiveness in the production and interpretation of the play and that is what makes me most excited about this news.

This is guaranteed to be the hot ticket in theatre-land next year. I can't think of another combo that would generate such fan interest unless One Direction were to make their stage debut. It also has the potential of being a pretty hot Hamlet.

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