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Inspired by Benedict Cumberbatch, U.K. Campaign Launches in Hopes of Combating Cell Phone Usage in Theaters


With the issue of cell phone usage in theatres across the world only growing worse, the Cumberphone Campaign has launched in the U.K. with the hopes of cleverly "tackling the issue of Mobile Phones at Theatres, one show-tune and soliloquy at a time."

Inspired by Benedict Cumberbatch, who recently urged fans to refrain from recording the Barbican's current production of HAMLET, in which he stars, the campaign has issued their first statement on the matter, with their "Mobile Manifesto" expected to be released sometime next month.

Per the the official website:

"The Cumberphone Campaign has been launched to finally and properly address the vexing issue of mobile phones in theatres. It's got to be more than simply "turn it off" or "no photos", with varying pre-show announcements and haphazard brave ushering. We need a unified approach across Theatreland, and we need it now. If we in Theatre can harness our collective imagination and creativity to the fullest (something we should be pretty good at), combined with tech savvy and marketing nous, then we can hopefully have a dramatic impact.

  • "We are emphatically not a bunch of huffy Luddite Luvvies - we love our phones, we really do. (You're most likely reading this on your phone too, right? Well, so long as you're not doing it during a show, that's fine by us). We aim to bring together a broad spectrum of theatre-lovers, from the exasperated angry shushers to the laid-back shoulder-shruggers.
  • Neither are we a Cumberbatch fan-site (lovely chap though he is), or a parody - although admittedly our very name and our penchant for pre-fixing anything that moves with a "cumber" is perhaps grounds for a raised eyebrow ;-)"

Those behind The Cumberphone Campaign encourage likeminded theatrefolk to make their feelings known on social media by using the hashtag #cumberphone. Click here to keep up with the campaign on Twitter, and here for the official website.

Cumberbatch infamously made his feelings on cell phone usage known earlier this summer, pleading with fans at the stage door. You can check out what he had to say below!

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From This Author Tyler Peterson

Tyler is one of BroadwayWorld's lead News Desk Editors, covering breaking Broadway and theatre news daily. He studied Public Relations and Creative Writing at Loyola (read more...)