Hamlet: Benedict Cumberbatch makes clearly unbiased mum 'extraordinarily proud'

Sherlock fans are no competition for the Oscar nominee's biggest ever fan

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The Independent Culture

Forget all those Sherlock fans, Benedict Cumberbatch's mum proved herself the biggest Cumberb**ch of them all at the official Hamlet press night.

Wanda Ventham attended London's Barbican theatre to watch her son tread the boards as Shakespeare's tragic hero and was left feeling "extraordinarily proud" of his achievement.

"[He's] a bloody good Hamlet. Extraordinarily proud. He was quite lively growing up but I thought that was phenomenal," she told reporters after the play.

Ventham is an actress in her own right, best known for her role as Colonel Virginia Lake in Seventies sci-fi TV series UFO and as Pamela Parry in Only Fools and Horses, and was joined by Cumberbatch's father Timothy Carlton, also an actor.

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Benedict Cumberbatch with his mum Wanda earlier this year (Rex)

Other guests included Cumberbatch's theatre director wife Sophie Hunter, Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss, comedian Frank Skinner and Downton Abbey actors Allen Leech and Dan Stevens.

Cumberbatch will remain in the famous role until the end of October after making his debut earlier this month.

The Oscar nominee hit headlines after begging fans not to film his performances, describing seeing red camera lights flashing in the auditorium as "mortifying". His initial outings received mixed reviews from critics, with The Times coming under criticism for publishing their harsh two-star verdict before the embargo had lifted.

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Stop filming my play! Benedict Cumberbatch had to have a word with fans

Lyndsey Turner's modern adaptation of Hamlet is the fastest-selling play in London history, with our critic Paul Taylor praising Cumberbatch's "whirling energy" but bemoaning the lack of "soul-to-souls" with his enigmatic character. "Cumberbatch's Prince is pointedly subversive if insufficiently spontaneous," he writes, concluding that he is just "too mega-famous" to work at the Globe.

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