Benedict Cumberbatch Speaks Out About Syrian Refugees

Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch has been taking a moment after a each performance of Hamlet to tell the audience about the work Save the Children is doing on behalf of the Syrian refugee crisis.

In the talks, Cumberbatch makes a plea on behalf of charity for funds to support refugee children. To date, over four million Syrian refugees have fled to other countries, and another 7.6 million people have been displaced from their homes.

Speaking at the curtain call of the performances of Hamlet in London, the 39-year-old actor made an impromptu speech, urging the audience to donate cash to help the refugee crisis that has seen more than 4 million Syrians seek shelter in other countries, and another 7.6 million displaced from their homes within Syria.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Hamlet

Cumberbatch rehearsing for Hamlet.

During the speech, Cumberbatch read from a poem he read in a recent PSA on behalf of the Syrian refugee crisis.

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
[…]
you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
The Help Is Coming video is a re-release of the 1999 Crowded House single.

Cumberbatch got a laugh from the audience when he asked people to “dig into your pocket, get out your change, folded.”

The Help Is Coming video was directed by Mat Whitecross and features a clip of Cumberbatch introducing the song – a re-release of the 1999 Crowded House single – with lines from Home.

It was recorded in a dressing room backstage at the Barbican and is the brainchild of the writer Caitlin Moran and her husband Pete Paphides, who were moved by the image of the drowned three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi which began circulating around the globe last week.

“As people watching this tragedy unfold from the safety of our homes, with our safe children, we want to say that we see you, we hear you and help is coming,” Cumberbatch said at the end of the video.

But more than 100 leading British cultural figures, including Cumberbatch, Sir Anish Kapoor, Jamie Oliver, Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Sir Michael Caine and Colin Firth, have signed a statement calling for the UK to take in more refugees and complaining that the British government’s response to the European refugee crisis has been “too little, too late.”

“We urge the UK government to wake up to the urgency of the current crisis and work with its European counterparts to offer immediate humanitarian help and agree long-term solutions to refugee resettlement,” the group wrote.

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