Drama students at Langdon Academy could hardly believe their good fortune when one of the world’s most famous and successful actors joined their lesson recently.

You would hardly need to be Sherlock Holmes to work out how our Year 10 students must have felt having Benedict Cumberbatch visiting their class and working with them on the most famous speech in dramatic literature.

bc4To the eerie strains of a solo violin, our young performers presented Benedict with a choral rendition of the “To be, or not to be…” speech from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Their star visitor then led the students in a workshop to explore further the depth and contemporary relevance of the speech.

What better advice could they get than from the actor who was playing the title role in the Barbican’s acclaimed production of Hamlet, which the students went to see in October?

Known to millions for his portrayal of Holmes in the BBC’s Sherlock, this is an actor at the very pinnacle of his profession.

Benedict’s Langdon session was filmed by Sky Arts and screened as part of their South Bank Show, with a shorter version being shown in cinemas nationally, ahead of the screen version of the Barbican production.

As for Mr Cumberbatch, he could not have been more charming and complimentary, describing the students’ work as “Beautiful, absolutely beautiful”.

This was a privilege for all concerned and an inspiration to our students.



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