Benedict Cumberbatch begs fans to ditch cellphones during his 'Hamlet' stage run

Benedict Cumberbatch to Play Hamlet on Stage in 2015

Benedict Cumberbatch, who began performing in a London stage production of "Hamlet" last Wednesday, made a special plea to fans: Turn off your cellphones during the show.

In particular, the 39-year-old actor objected to theatergoers illegally recording his performance and distracting him on stage.

"I can see red lights in the auditorium, and it may not be any of you here that did that, but it's blindingly obvious," he told a crowd waiting outside the stage door of the Barbican Theatre Saturday night. "It's mortifying, and there's nothing less supportive or enjoyable as an actor being on stage experiencing that."

36 PHOTOS
Benedict Cumberbatch
See Gallery
Benedict Cumberbatch begs fans to ditch cellphones during his 'Hamlet' stage run
Benedict Cumberbatch arrives for the 'The Imitation Game' Los Angeles Special Screening Hosted By Chanel at DGA Theater in Los Angeles, California, November 10, 2014. AFP PHOTO / David McNew (Photo credit should read DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 08: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences' 2014 Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 8, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends BAFTA LA Behind Closed Doors with Benedict Cumberbatch at Pacific Design Center on November 7, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Buchan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 08: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends day one of Variety Studio: Actors On Actors presented by Samsung Galaxy on November 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Variety)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Benedict Cumberbatch at the opening gala premiere of 'The Imitation Game' at The 58th London Film Festival on October 8, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for BFI)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: An alternative view of actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightley at the premiere of The Imitation Game at The 58th London Film Festival on October 8, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends the opening night gala screening of 'The Imitation Game' during the 58th BFI London Film Festival at Odeon Leicester Square on October 8, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI)
British actor Benedict Cumberbatch poses for pictures as he arrives for the BFI London Film Festival's premiere of 'The Imitation Game' at the Odeon Leicester Square in central London, on October 8, 2014. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Benedict Cumberbatch attends the press conference for 'The Imitation Game' during the 58th BFI London Film Festival at Corinthia Hotel London on October 8, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch poses with fans as he attends the opening night gala screening of 'The Imitation Game' during the 58th BFI London Film Festival at Odeon Leicester Square on October 8, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends the press conference for 'The Imitation Game' during the 58th BFI London Film Festival at Corinthia Hotel London on October 8, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends the press conference for 'The Imitation Game' during the 58th BFI London Film Festival at Corinthia Hotel London on October 8, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - NOVEMBER 09: Presenter Benedict Cumberbatch and Breakthrough Prize Founder Mark Zuckerburg (R) speak onstage during the Breakthrough Prize Awards Ceremony Hosted By Seth MacFarlane at NASA Ames Research Center on November 9, 2014 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 08: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends day one of Variety Studio: Actors On Actors presented by Samsung Galaxy on November 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Variety)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends BAFTA LA Behind Closed Doors with Benedict Cumberbatch at Pacific Design Center on November 7, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Buchan/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 9: Benedict Cumberbatch on the red carpet for The Imitation Game at the Princess of Wales Theatre. (David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 9: Benedict Cumberbatch points over to the photographers on the far side of the street and then directs the fans to wave with him for the cameras as he arrives on the red carpet for The Imitation Game at the Princess of Wales Theatre. (David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 9: Benedict Cumberbatch points over to the photographers on the far side of the street and then directs the fans to wave with him for the cameras as he arrives on the red carpet for The Imitation Game at the Princess of Wales Theatre. (David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends BAFTA LA Behind Closed Doors with Benedict Cumberbatch at Pacific Design Center on November 7, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Buchan/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 9: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch signs autographs and take photos with fans at the 'Imitation Games' premiere during TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) at the Princess Of Wales Theatre. (Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 09: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends 'The Imitation Game' Premiere during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 9, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 09: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch and actress Keira Knightley speak onstage at 'The Imitation Game' Press Conference during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival at TIFF Bell Lightbox on September 9, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 08: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends the Variety Studio presented by Moroccanoil at Holt Renfrew during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Variety)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch arrives to the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 26: Actors Benedict Cumberbatch (L) and Andy Serkis attend'The hobbit' press room on July 26, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 26: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends 'The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies' Press Line during Comic-Con International 2014 at Hilton Bayfront on July 26, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 26: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends the Legendary Pictures preview and panel during Comic-Con International 2014 at San Diego Convention Center on July 26, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 08: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends the Men's Final of Roland Garros French Tennis Open 2014 - Day 15 on June 8, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo by Rindoff/Charriau/French Select/Getty Images)
HAY-ON-WYE, WALES - MAY 31: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch performs during the Hay Festival on May 31, 2014 in Hay-on-Wye, Wales. The Hay Festival is an annual festival of literature and arts which began in 1988. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 25: Benedict Cumberbatch attands the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: Actor Benedict Cumberbatch attends the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 29: Benedict Cumberbatch attends the launch of chef Jason Atherton's new restaurant 'City Social' at Tower 42 on April 29, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 2: Benedict Cumberbatch arrives at the 86th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Benedict Cumberbatch attends BAFTA New York Presents: In Conversation With Benedict Cumberbatch at The Standard Highline on February 13, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Carter Rinaldi/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Benedict Cumberbatch (L) seen outside the Boss show on February 12, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Timur Emek/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE


He added, "I can't give you what I want to give you which is a live performance that you'll remember — hopefully in your minds and brains whether it's good, bad, or indifferent — rather than on your phones."

The "Sherlock" star also issued a not-so-veiled threat: patrons who violated the cellphone ban would be evicted from future performances. Security staffers on Monday will begin deploying "devices" to detect the use of what he called "your funny electronic things."

Cumberbatch has a huge and fiercely loyal online fan base and he sought to deploy them to encourage better behavior inside the theater. "I don't use social media and I'd really appreciate it if you did tweet, blog, hashtag the shit out of this one for me," he said, to appreciative laughter.

Cumberbatch's 12-week run as Shakespeare's melancholy Danish prince, which runs through Oct. 31, has long been sold out. But a filmed version, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and National Theatre Live, will be broadcast in movie theaters worldwide on Oct. 15.

Watch the video above.

Read original story Benedict Cumberbatch Begs Fans to Ditch Cellphones During His 'Hamlet' Stage Run At TheWrap


Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL to get the hottest pop culture news delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.