Benedict Cumberbatch has appealed for people to stop filming and photographing during his production of Hamlet.
Cumberbatch appeared by the stage door at the Barbican Centre to waiting fans after the show to ask if he could "enlist" their help to spread this message as he himself does not use social media.
He said: "What I really want to do is try and enlist you. I don't use social media and I'd really appreciate it if you did tweet, blog, and hashtag the shit out of this."
He added: "It may not be any of you here but it's blindingly obvious," adding the distraction of cameras going off was "mortifying".
He told the crowd: "I can't give you what I want to give you which is a live performance that you'll remember, hopefully, in your minds and brains whether it's good, bad or indifferent, rather than on your phones."
He added: "There's nothing that's less enjoyable or supportive as an actor on stage experiencing that."
He added it had been a difficult opening week of the production, saying there had been "one damned thing after another".
This may have been a reference to the controversial review of the play written by The Times, whose critic broke convention to review its opening preview rather than wait for the press night.
Its two-star review was followed by a spate of other publications posting their reviews early.