On Saturday, the British actor spoke to fans outside the Barbican in London, where he is set to play Hamlet until 31 October.

Cumberbatch said: ‘I don’t use social media and I would really appreciate it if you… tweet, blog, hashtag the **** out of this one for me…

‘Photographs, whatever, outside [are] fine. I can see cameras. I can see red lights in the auditorium and, it may not be any of you here that did that… but it’s blindingly obvious.’

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The actor said he could see a red light in ‘about the third row on the right’ during his most recent performance.

He added: ‘It’s mortifying and there’s nothing less supportive or enjoyable as an actor being on stage experiencing that and I can’t give you what I want to give you – which is a live performance that you will remember… rather than on your phones.

‘So please don’t. And it will get strict from now on. They have got devices that are coming in on Monday that will have people detected and evicted. I don’t want that to happen. That is a horrible way to police what’s a wonderful thing.’

The show is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions.

Asked if there are plans to bring in technology to combat mobile phone photography during Hamlet performances, a spokesperson for the producers told Amateur Photographer: ‘The company are currently focusing on previews and the production has nothing to add on this matter.’