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Benedict Cumberbatch to play title role in West End production of 'Hamlet'

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Let the fangirls rejoice. Benedict Cumberbatch and that deep, silky voice of his will soon be reciting The Bard live on stage.

According to BBC News on Wednesday, Cumberbatch is set to portray Hamlet in a production of the Shakespearean tragedy in London's West End. The play will run from August to October 2015 at the Barbican Theatre.

Lyndsey Turner has signed on to direct the play while Sonia Friedman will produce. Her production company has previously developed West End versions of plays like The Book of Mormon, 1984, and Shakespeare in Love.

Friedman, who was quoted as being "thrilled" to produce the show, called Cumberbatch "one of the most gifted and exciting actors of his generation."

Cumberbatch, 37, achieved worldwide recognition for his role in BBC One's smash hit Sherlock and though he is well known for his TV and film roles, such as Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, he has extensive acting training from the likes of Harrow School and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and multiple West End acting credits.

In 2011, he appeared in Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle's Royal National Theatre production of Frankenstein. Cumberbatch portrayed both Victor Frankenstein and his creation in that production, alternating each night with Jonny Lee Miller, whom American audiences will recognize as Sherlock Holmes in CBS' Elementary.

That same year, he won the Olivier Award, Evening Standard Award, and Critics' Circle Theatre Award for the role, also known as the "Triple Crown of London Theatre." The play has since been broadcast as part of National Theatre Live in international theaters and cinemas.

Hamlet won't be his first turn in a Shakespearean role, either. In 2013, he appeared in 50 Years on Stage, the RNT's 50th anniversary celebration, portraying Rosencrantz in a scene from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Oh, and don't forget his acting debut in A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which a 12-year-old Benedict (in true Shakespearean form) played Titania, Queen of the Fairies.

As for the role of Hamlet itself, the actor told the Daily Telegraph in 2012 "it's a role I've been interested in for a long time." Booking details for the play will reportedly be announced this coming May.


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