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Four reasons to see Hamlet that have nothing to do with Benedict Cumberbatch

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Lucy Foster
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When tickets of the latest production of Hamlet went on sale in August, they sold out in minutes. Such is the power of Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrays the play's eponymous hero. 

Yet despite the Sherlock star arguably being the main attraction, there are four other very important reasons you should head down to the Barbican to catch William Shakespeare's classic. Here, Stylist's Lucy Foster gives you the lowdown... 

The set will blow your mind

I have never seen a more luxurious set in my life. I was at least 10 times bigger than my flat. There are interconnecting rooms and a staircase. Chandeliers pop in and out of the ceiling and then after the interval – I won’t spoil it, but seriously, how did they do that? It also made me seriously consider teal blue, huge stately doors and deer trophies for my 10x3 feet hallway.

Anastasia Hille Benedict Cumberbatch

Anastasia Hille as Gertrude and Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet

The Barbican is an excellent theatre 

I hereby admit that I’d previously never been to the Barbican theatre and because of that I’m a philistine. But if like me, you’ve never walked the hallowed brutalist carpet of EC1’s premier theatre, you should do so as soon as possible. Not least because when the shiny brass doors automatically shut ready for the performance, it feels like you’re in a space ship. 

There are more famous people in the cast than Benedict

OK, so admittedly, he’s a superstar, and very good he is too. But he’s not the only famous face in the cast. Ciaran Hinds (of Julius Caesar in Rome and Mance Raydar in Game of Thrones fame) is Claudius (evil uncle) and Karl Johnson who played Thomas ‘Twister’ Turrell in Larkrise to Candleford is Hamlet’s ghostly dad. And then there’s Anastasia Hille, who once had a main part in one of my favourite episodes of Lewis, but I fear that may be too niche a reference for most of you. 

Sky Arts is putting on £10 tickets 

Sonia Friedman productions in sponsored_longform with Sky Arts are practically giving away tickets every day. If you’re organised, that is. Each day, 30 £10 tickets will be released for sale in person. They’re sold at the advance ticket desk from 10.30am. There is also a limited number of tickets still available online. Go, go, go!

Hamlet is showing at the Barbican until 31st October.

benedict cumberbatch

It's not all about Benedict Cumberbatch you know...

Images: Johan Persson

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