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Martin Freeman pays tribute to Sherlock co-star Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet

Published 27/08/2015

Benedict Cumberbatch will be playing Hamlet at the Barbican theatre in London until the end of October
Benedict Cumberbatch will be playing Hamlet at the Barbican theatre in London until the end of October

Benedict Cumberbatch's performance in Hamlet has been described as "really good" by his Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman.

It comes after Cumberbatch's mother hailed him as "a bloody good Hamlet" - but the show has received mixed reviews.

Freeman laughed when he was asked if he had to pay to see the much talked about show, before saying: "No."

He said: "We were invited to come, and yeah, he was really good. He was really good. He was very clear."

During a session at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Freeman was asked if he had rules for what he says to friends and co-stars about their performances in other shows.

He said he was told by a director many years ago that you can "only be positive" towards someone doing a play, because anything else is unhelpful.

"Certainly overt criticism isn't helpful, because there's nothing they can do about it," he said.

Freeman said Cumberbatch also came to see him when he was starring in Richard III, joking that he did not know if he paid.

Cumberbatch will be playing the lead role in the Shakespeare drama at the Barbican theatre in London until the end of October, with the show becoming the fastest-selling play in British history.

He made his debut in the production earlier this month, and made headlines after pleading with fans not to film his performances, saying he found the experience "mortifying".

The show received mixed early reviews, with The Times giving it a mere two stars, branding it "Hamlet for kids raised on Moulin Rouge", while the Daily Mail hailed the performance with a five-star rating.

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