Sunday, October 7, 2012

REVIEW: Benedict Cumberbatch on Sherlock at the Cheltenham Literary Festival 2012 1:45am Sunday 7th October 2012 in Leisure By Joanne Mace (GAZETTE)

Benedict Cumberbatch, Cheltenham Literary Festival, Cheltenham Racecourse

THE building was already packed to the rafters with the 2000 fans leaving the JK Rowling event when the 2000 Benedict Cumberbatch devotees began to arrive.

Benedict’s unbelievably brilliant portrayal of Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional sleuth Sherlock Holmes - in Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’s incredible reimagining of the tales for the BBC - was the reason he was at the 2012 literary festival, and there were screams when the actor finally appeared, casually clad in a blue duffel coat. 

After warming everyone up with a routine borrowed from Elbow’s Guy Garvey, he took a seat opposite his interviewer on stage, his charming Sherlock co-star Louise Brealey, whose character Molly is in love with the genius detective (and who may have played a key role in aiding him to fake his death at the conclusion of series two).  Their sparky chemistry throughout made for a revealing chat, with lots of laughter. Louise even revealed that she’d had countless dreams about the interview, including one where she admitted that she “wet herself on stage and tried to blame it on Benedict”. It was a relief, given Benedict’s recent reticence in interviews after having been misquoted/inadvertently dragged into media storms.

One recurrent topic of the evening was what the third series of Sherlock will be about. The creators have recently revealed three clues, rat, wedding and bow, but will say no more – as will Benedict: “No comment – as I am now used to saying. Nothing. In the past year, what has been extraordinary is that I have met some of the most extraordinary people…and they all ask one question. And I have to say no comment. I can’t tell you. Secrets are a good thing to keep.”

He revealed that his mother hadn’t thought him right for the role initially - “My mum went, ‘You just don’t have the right nose.’ Thank God he [Moffat] picked the right nose!” - and that he hadn’t been sure about the project until he read the script: “I heard about it…and was rather dubious about how cute it could be and an excuse to make money. And then I read the script and was blown away by it. It was so funny and so fast paced and at the heart of it was this friendship.”



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