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Out today – Benedict Cumberbatch: London and Hollywood

Benedict Cumberbatch’s career is built to last. From his early success as a working actor through his dynamic trajectory to international star, Cumberbatch continues to be one of the best thespians of his generation. Those who know Cumberbatch primarily because of his award-winning star turn as Sherlock Holmes in the BBC’s Sherlock know only a fraction of the actor’s noteworthy professional history, including such critically acclaimed roles as, on television, Hawking, Small Island, To the Ends of the Earth, Parade’s End, and The Hollow Crown; on stage, Hedda Gabler, After the Dance, Frankenstein, and Hamlet; on radio, Cabin Pressure and Neverwhere; and on film, Atonement, War Horse, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and The Imitation Game. Whether starring on television, stage, or radio in home base London or filming a Hollywood production, Benedict Cumberbatch continues to choose interesting roles that cement his A-list status. His career is not without occasional controversy, but, like those he admires most in London or Hollywood, he has become savvy about the entertainment industry. Benedict Cumberbatch is here to stay in the spotlight—to the delight of anyone who appreciates fine acting.

Benedict Cumberbatch: London and Hollywood is available from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine, Amazon USA, Amazon UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Kindle.

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Benedict Cumberbatch: London and Hollywood – Guest blog from Lynnette Porter

The Cover

One of the interesting parts of writing a book is having input on the cover. In my case, MX Publishing and I select and buy a photograph that can be used as part of the cover design. For a couple of days early in the writing process, I looked at every public photograph of Benedict Cumberbatch I could find. The one I favoured—that was affordable—came from the BFI London Film Festival in 2014, when The Imitation Game was selected as the opening film.

The original photo included an umbrella, a must-have accessory on the red carpet that rainy night. Benedict Cumberbatch looked so pleased as the photographer took this shot. The lights highlighted his face, illustrating that he and his work were in the spotlight. He also was looking to the viewer’s right. On a cover, that symbolises looking ahead or toward the future, and the emphasis of this book is his career now and in the future because of his body of work. I chose this photograph because of his expression, the lighting, and the direction he faced.

I also chose this occasion because he starred in the festival’s opening film—an especially prestigious occasion—and because he earned an Academy Award nomination for his role as Alan Turing. The photo therefore references both London and Hollywood—a perfect combination for this book. Although in October 2014, when the film festival featured The Imitation Game, the actor could not know that he would be nominated for an Oscar, in retrospect, the photo shows his pleasure at his and the film’s recognition, not because of the nominations he would receive for that role. In this photo, Benedict Cumberbatch is on the cusp of major Hollywood recognition, but he is savouring the moment in his native London.

Of course, the design was not complete with the selection of a photograph. The wonderful Jules Coomber, who designed the previous two amazing covers of the Cumberbatch performance biographies, added the backdrop of a London cityscape and part of the Hollywood sign (and removed the umbrella) to further illustrate Benedict Cumberbatch’s career aspirations and successes in both London and Hollywood.

The Content

This is the third book I have written about Benedict Cumberbatch, and it can be read as the latest update on his career and stardom supplementing the previous books or as a standalone volume. By now, some people may be wondering what else I could possibly have to write about this actor. Because he has been so prolific in multiple media—radio, television, film, theatre—there is always something new to critique.

In Benedict Cumberbatch: London and Hollywood, I summarized the actor’s previous performances, so that new readers can get the full perspective on the Cumberbatch back catalogue. However, I also encountered new sources that provide more details about the actor’s preparation or behind-the-scenes issues that cropped up during, for example, the run of Frankenstein. Even in sections about performances that may be familiar to readers of the previous two books, there is a new focus on how each performance has attributed to his success or how it reflects his London or Hollywood stardom.

More important, the majority of the book analyses Benedict Cumberbatch’s more recent performances in Hamlet, The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses, The Imitation Game(which was not in general release at the time the previous book was published), “The Abominable Bride” special episode of Sherlock, and, of course, Doctor Strange. Some works receive a whole chapter, but all receive many pages of discussion.

Stardom involves more than acting. The book also looks at Benedict Cumberbatch’s SunnyMarch production company, his changing public persona, his philanthropy, and his interactions with fandom. In short, Benedict Cumberbatch: London and Hollywood looks at the development of a new international star and the resulting changes to his public persona and career, as well as the new opportunities now afforded him.

I am pleased with the cover and contents of this book, and I hope readers will enjoy the critiques and commentary about this most talented actor.

Benedict Cumberbatch: London and Hollywood is available from all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews Benedict Cumberbatch, in Transition: An Unauthorised Performance Biography

“Lynnette Porter is the editor of Sherlock Holmes for the 21st Century: Essays on New Adaptations. Here she surveys Cumberbatch’s career as an actor, touching on his extra-curricular life only to the extent that it influences his acting or is influenced by the transition from jobbing actor to star to celebrity. The facts are meticulously (but not tediously) referenced, and the writing is both literate and engaging. Sherlock is the turning-point, but it’s good to be reminded of the extent and importance of the actor’s career, before, during and after the breakthrough to stardom: acclaimed rôles in Rhinoceros and Hedda Gabler at the Royal Court, After the Dance at the Old Vic, and Frankenstein at the National Theatre; performances as Van Gogh and Stephen Hawking on television; leading parts inCopenhagenNeverwhere and the continuing comedy series Cabin Pressure on radio; War HorseTinker Tailor Soldier Spy in the cinema, and his emergence as a real film star in Star Trek: Into Darkness. Benedict Cumberbatch is a great actor, unpretentious, honest and dedicated.”

 

Benedict Cumberbatch, In Transition is available from all good bookstores including in the USA AmazonBarnes and Noble, in the UK AmazonWaterstones, and for everywhere else Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In ebook format there is KindleiPadKobo and Nook.

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Review of ‘Benedict Cumberbatch – In Transition: An Unauthorised Performance Biography’ from Benedict-Cumberbatch.de

“Written by Lynnette Porter and published by MX Publishing, Benedict Cumberbatch – In Transition: An Unauthorised Performance Biography is no ordinary biography as we know it from most other celebrity biographies. The author focuses almost entirely on the career of Benedict and gives an overview of his projects, backed by numerous quotations and anecdotes.

The book begins, after a long introduction, with Benedict’s childhood and his education at Harrow, Manchester and LAMDA, and includes some very nice quotes from his mother, Wanda Ventham. We, as theater fans, are delighted that the chapter on his career in the theatre is especially extensive. Porter refers to Benedict’s first roles at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, and gives a comprehensive analysis (including excerpts from interviews and reviews) on Hedda Gabler, Rhinoceros, The Arsonists and After the Dance. Frankenstein even gets a more in depth chapter. It becomes clear very easily that a lot of time and research has gone into the book….”

Read the full review here.

Benedict Cumberbatch, In Transition is available from all good bookstores including in the USA AmazonBarnes and Noble, in the UK AmazonWaterstones, and for everywhere else Book Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In ebook format there is KindleiPadKobo and Nook.

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Amy Thomas from The Baker Street Babes reviews Benedict Cumberbatch, In Transition

“When I was a young teenager, I was utterly besotted with Prince William. What can I say? While my friends were eagerly snapping up magazines featuring N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys, I bought a short and fairly abysmal unauthorised biography of the royal heir. I didn’t care; it was something. Thankfully, Benedict Cumberbatch fans of any age no longer have to face the indignity of wasting money on shoddy prose.

Benedict Cumberbatch, In Transition is an exhaustively-annotated and impressively-detailed account of a young actor’s career. Some might ask if now is the time for such a book, releasing arguably nearer the beginning of his acting career than the end; however, the transitional aspect gives the tome much of its interest. Porter purposefully sought to chronicle the rise of an actor who is only just beginning to reach the heights many expect him to continue to scale.

It’s important to note that since the book is unauthorised, the information is gleaned from other sources. The value of such a book is the same as that of a very specific encyclopedia–it presents a host of information that most fans would be unable or unwilling to look up for themselves.

Whether or not Cumberbatch is as successful in the future as the author and many in the media and wider fandom expect, this book will continue to serve as an interesting signpost at the crossroads of a person’s life. Even those who have followed Benedict for some time will likely find new details to savor.

As a frequent user of Tumblr, a photo-heavy social networking site, I know firsthand that plenty of young people are as besotted today with Benedict Cumberbatch as I once was with the future king of England. Lynnette Porter has provided them, and their older counterparts, with a valuable guide to a fascinating career. No abysmal imitations need apply.”

Benedict Cumberbatch, In Transition is available from all good bookstores including in the USA AmazonBarnes and Noble, in the UK AmazonWaterstones, and for everywhere elseBook Depository who offer free worldwide delivery. In ebook format there is KindleiPad,Kobo and Nook.

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First Review of ‘Benedict Cumberbatch in Transition – An Unauthorised Performance Biography’

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“Benedict Cumberbatch In Transition – An Unauthorised Biography. A Review.

Can a simple title say it all? In this particular case, it can and it is a joy. Benedict’s career is indeed in transition at the present moment in time (when I’m writing we are just a few days ahead of the Star Trek Into Darkness Premiere in London) and, in less than four years,he has metamorphosed from a very talented BBC actor to a sought-after international star.

If you expect a mere unauthorised biography here, you will be disappointed. As already thoroughly explained by Sherlockology and by the author herself in an interview with our page (see the link below), this book is an analytical and very detailed essay about his works.

No matter if you are a “new-comer” or a long-term fan, you will find its contents intriguing. The book is certainly particularly appealing for its in-depth analysis of the “before Sherlock” career, focusing on Benedict’s theatre roles.

Lynnette Porter has enriched each chapter with her own experiences and interviews obtained whilst going through theatre archives in London and meeting directors (using every possible source available); allowing the readers “to see” the performances through her eyes even if they haven’t actually seen them in reality.

Praise must also be given for the unbiased approach to each project he has be involved in, both in the past and in the near future. Although it is undeniable that BBC Sherlock can be considered as a turning point in Benedict’s career, he is such an incredibly talented Thespian that each and every role he has portrayed has its own strength. In fact, it is always a source of great inspiration for fans and viewers to discover- through his own words – the reasons of his professional choices, the hard work to prepare for them and the efforts to avoid being typecast.

Lynnette Porter is the author of 14 books, a cinema reviewer and university lecturer (as well as a devoted fan) and she embarked on this project with contagious enthusiasm and professionalism.

MX Publishing is popular among Sherlockians for all its valuable Sherlock related titles to date.

Benedict Cumberbatch In Transition will be released on 10th June.

To know more you can follow these links:

https://www.facebook.com/benedictcumbercatchintransition[where fans can ask questions about the book from the author]

http://www.sherlockholmesbookshop.com/product/9781780924366[exclusive pre-publication copies for US fans (dispatched in May)]

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Benedict-Cumberbatch-Transition-Unauthorised-Performance/dp/1780924364

[for UK fans]

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Benedict-Cumberbatch-Actor-Transition-Unauthorised-Performance-Biography-Lynnette-Porter/9781780924366[free delivery worldwide for fans outside UK and USA.]

•Interview with the author:

http://cumberlordfb.tumblr.com/post/48674553429/benedict-cumberbatch-in-transition-an-interview

A review by EmanuelaBorgattaDunnett for facebook.com/cumberlordbenedict”

 

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Of the thousands of images of Benedict Cumberbatch author Lynnette Porter has chosen this one for her performance biography of the actor which comes out in June.

"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" Premiere - 68th Venice Film Festival

Of the thousands of images of Benedict Cumberbatch author Lynnette Porter has chosen this one for her performance biography of the actor which comes out in June. A leading designer has been chosen for the cover which the publisher’s say will be “very special and a unique concept”. 

Benedict Cumberbatch, In Transition has been described by the author’s agent Uwe as ‘a labour of love’ with a quite incredible attention to detail. Porter has published several very heavily researched books to date, and this one runs to 350 pages. Certainly one for the more serious Cumberbatch fans. Porter is a big fan herself and fans can look forward to a positive review of his prolific career.

Steve Emecz from publishers MX Publishing comments “We’re used to producing some of the most detailed biographical works in the Holmes world, including the Chronology of Arthur Conan Doyle, and The Norwood Author which won the 2011 Howlett Award (Sherlock Holmes book of the year) and we had to be sure that Lynnette’s book was highly detailed and accurate. We weren’t disappointed. This is a very special piece of work and one we are very pleased to be publishing. The book covers his career to date, so whilst there is some Sherlock, there is much more in there”.

The publishers have opened up a Facebook Page today where fans will be able to see exclusive extracts from the book, take part in competitions and ask the author questions. The foreword for the book will be provided by a famous special guest from the world of Sherlock Holmes.

 

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