Benedict Cumberbatch does more than just act. He also does public readings of literature, as seen in a video from the recent Hay Literary Festival. If you loved the “Sherlock” star before, you’ll probably like him even more when reading a letter written by author Kurt Vonnegut.
Over the recent weekend (May 30 to June 1), Cumberbatch participated in many events at the British festival. The video and the Vonnegut reading come from the “Letters Live” event. In addition to the letter featured in the video, Cumberbatch read correspondence from Iggy Pop, photographer Richard Avedon and British POW Chris Barker (read with “Sherlock” co-star Louise Brealey covering the words of Bessie Moore, Barker’s eventual fiancee).
The Vonnegut letter was written in 1973 to Charles McCarthy, a school-board member at Drake High School in North Dakota. McCarthy had decided that Vonnegut’s classic, “Slaughterhouse-Five,” was unsuitable for students and ordered the books be burned. Vonnegut, appropriately, was enraged by this action and expressed that in the letter.
As for Cumberbatch, in addition to portraying the emotions written into the document, the actor provides a rather impressive American accent (with only momentary slip-ups) in order to convey the author’s tone.
It’s almost enough to make the wait for “Sherlock” Season 4 a little more bearable.