Benedict Cumberbatch makes 'emotional' appeal to Hamlet audience to help refugees - and raises £4,000

The actor made the appeal on the eve of fronting a charity re-release of the song, Help Is Coming for Save The Children

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Benedict Cumberbatch used his sold-out theatre run of Hamlet to bring attention to the current refugee crisis — and raised thousands of pounds in the process.

Following his performance at the Barbican in London on Thursday evening, Cumberbatch stepped forward, reportedly while the audience were still applauding, to urge the audience to donate to cash to help alleviate the ongoing crisis.

Cumberbatch is said to have criticised the UK government’s “slow response” and quoted the poet Warsan Shire, reciting : "A parent only puts their child on a boat when the sea is safer than the land."

He appealed to the audience to donate notes instead of coins in the collection buckets to aid refugees, joking that he did not want the buckets to be too heavy.

The collection reportedly raised over £4,000 in donations.


Among the audience were MPs, including Culture Secretary John Whittingdale. Labour MP Chris Bryant also watched the play, later tweeting that he was proud of the actor’s “emotional appeal”.

The appeal came the day before Cumberbatch gave a video introduction of the charity re-release of Crowded House’s Help Is Coming. The release was the idea of author Caitlin Moran and her husband journalist, Pete Paphides, with all proceeds going to Save the Children.