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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch's Shakespeare Year


Happy Birthday Benedict Cumberbatch!





He has many reasons to celebrate, not the least of which is the very important year he has ahead of him, in which he will star in two Shakespeare productions!

He has been cast as Richard III in the forthcoming Hollow Crown series, and he will playing Hamlet at the Barbican, directed by Lyndsey Turner:


For some time on this blog, I have been talking about how Benedict Cumberbatch should do some Shakespeare, and now he is doing two productions! 


Will his Hamlet look something like this?



I was concerned that he might not pursue Shakespeare projects. Before the announcements of Richard III and Hamlet, there was a distinct possibility that he would pursue feature film and TV projects instead. He has become insanely in demand in the last two years.

There is no reason why he has to do any Shakespeare. He could no doubt work for the rest of his life without ever acting in the Bard’s plays. There are quite a few UK actors (many whom I admire) who don’t, and I was sincerely worried that he would become one of them.

So, it is thrilling to know that he values and understands the importance of Shakespeare.

As much as he will become famous for Sherlock, and for his role as Khan in the Star Trek films, I predict he will become arguably more famous for his work in Shakespeare, whether it is on stage or screen.

He is such a versatile actor that he could do any number of productions, for his entire life. He would be great as Benedick, Macbeth, as Iago, as Henry V, etc. But I also think he would be great in other less popular plays, like Antony and Cleopatra, or Timon of Athens. He would be hilarious as Petruchio, and I think his Prospero would be incredible. It would be fantastic if he did that on stage.

It’s many years away before he does it, but I think he would be amazing as King Lear.

Also, I predict that he will might turn his talents to directing as well as acting in a Shakespeare play or two, perhaps even for the screen. Ralph Fiennes has done it. Kenneth Branagh has done it. Why shouldn’t he do it, too?

So, I hope you join me in wishing him a Happy Birthday today, and say a prayer of thanks that he has declared his intention to make Shakespeare an important, and with any luck permanent, part of his life and career.






If you agree that he should continue to do Shakespeare, please show your support on facebookTwitterPinterestGoogle Plus or Tumblr.

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And your comments are always welcome!


Cheers,


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