The play has already hit the headlines thanks to one reviewer who gave her opinion about the Shakespeare production early during preview performances and Cumberbatch making a plea to fans to stop filming him while he is onstage, insisting it was a huge distraction.

But it was all positive at the Barbican theatre on Tuesday, as the Oscar nominee's famous friends gave Cumberbatch a big thumbs up after his opening night performance.

Gatiss told the BBC, "We're all very proud and impressed", while the actor's onstage mother, actress Wanda Ventham, called her co-star "a bloody good Hamlet".

And the critics appeared to like what they saw of the leading man, even if the play itself wasn't a hit - the Telegraph's Dominic Cavendish called Cumberbatch "a blazing, five-star Hamlet trapped in a middling, three-star show", while's Michael Coveney complemented the star on his "superbly, urgently, intelligently" delivered soliloquies.

And The Guardian's Michael Billington suggested Cumberbatch could have been a great Hamlet if he wasn't "imprisoned by a dismal production".

The play continues until the end of October (15).