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From Sherlock to Shakespeare: Benedict Cumberbatch takes on Hamlet role

Benedict Cumberbatch is swapping Sherlock for Shakespeare to make a return to the stage, playing Hamlet next year.

The star will head the cast in a new production at the Barbican in London, which will run from August to October 2015.

It will be Cumberbatch's first stage role since 2011 when he played Frankenstein at the National Theatre, for which he won a best actor title at the Olivier Awards - sharing the award with Jonny Lee Miller with whom he alternated roles in the play.

The 12-week run of Hamlet will be directed by Lyndsey Turner, who was behind stage hits Posh and Chimerica.

Producer Sonia Friedman said: "It is so great to be working with one of the most gifted and exciting actors of his generation, Benedict Cumberbatch, in the title role."

The production was announced as part of the Barbican's new 2014-15 season which will include a residency for conductor Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic.

Other attractions include an evening of music by Clint Mansell - former frontman of Pop Will Eat Itself - who will perform work from his soundtracks, which have included many collaborations with director Darren Aronofsky, including Black Swan, The Wrestler and the forthcoming Noah, as well as the Duncan Jones film Moon.

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