Benedict Cumberbatch will return to the texts of Shakespere studied by children across the land when he takes on the role of Hamlet at London’s Barbican theatre next summer for 12 weeks. It has been confirmed that the in-vogue actor would take the stage, swapping Sherlock and The Hobbit for the 17th century play.

Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch will play Hamlet at London's Barbican Theatre

Cumberbatch revealed last year he would be playing Shakespeare's Danish prince "sometime in autumn on the London stage". “It's a role I've been interested in for a long time," he told the Daily Telegraph in 2012. "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."

Sonia Friedman has worked with Lyndsey Turner, who had huge success with the plays ‘Posh and ‘Chimerica’ to get this project off the ground. In a statement issued by the Barbican, Friedman said: 'I am thrilled to be producing Hamlet with Lyndsey and Benedict and we are delighted that the magnificent Barbican has agreed to present the show."

More: The very best Hamlet performances

Friedman also explained how happy she was to be working with Turner again having produced the Almeida Theatre's Chimerica in the West End. On Cumberbatch, Friedman said it was “a real privilege to be working with one of the most gifted and exciting actors of his generation”.

And superlatives like that haven’t been rare for Cumberbatch, whose turn as Sherlock launched a hugely fruitful career. With the third season over, fans are angry that the fourth won’t come sooner, but such is the demand for Cumberbatch, scheduling his domestic and international careers will be one of the most challenging facets as he approaches his prime.

Watch this little trailer for Little Favour, starring Cumberbatch