Benedict Cumberbatch to play Hamelt in London next year

Fans of British actor Benedict Cumberbatch have been waiting patiently for his return to the capital, and after a two-year absence the star has confirmed that he is set to appear in a brand new production of Shakespeare's Hamlet in London next year.

Since his highly-acclaimed performance in Danny Boyle's production of Frankenstein at the National Theatre in 2011, the actor has been busy with screen commitments, playing the lead role in the BBC's Sherlock series as well as The Fifth Estate, a Hollywood movie in which he starred as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

However, Cumberbatch has revealed that he is to put the movie career on hold to appear as the eponymous character in Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, in the autumn of 2014.

Few details about the show have been released, although following rumours earlier this year that he was in discussions with director Lyndsey Turner and producer Sonia Friedman about playing the role, the actor this week told USA Today: "I know for certain I'm doing Hamlet sometime in autumn on the London stage".

The news brings an end to months of speculation, with the star himself having told the Telegraph of his desire to play the role last year, saying: "I hope to return to theatre soon, hopefully as Hamlet, as it's a role I've been interested in for a long time."

One of Shakespeare's most famous tragedy, Hamlet tells the story of the eponymous prince of Denmark as he seeks revenge on his uncle Claudius, who betrayed Prince Hamlet's father King Hamlet by murdering and marrying his widow.

When speaking of his ambition to star in the show, Cumberbatch had given a clue that an announcement may have been imminent, by stating: "I don't know if there is such a thing as a right age to play the part, but 36 or 37 seems appropriate to me, so I need to do it before long."

However, the confirmation has put huge numbers of the actor's fans out of their misery, and more details are expected to be revealed shortly.

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