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In Patrick Melrose, we finally have a nuanced portrait of addiction

The new Benedict Cumberbatch drama directly confronts the problem without glamorising it. This is sadly all too rare

By Lucinda Smyth  

Photo: Sky

Benedict Cumberbatch is an actor who excels at a sweat. With his pallid complexion, gummy features and snaky blue eyes, his is a face eerily well-suited to a clammy sheen. It’s no surprise, then, that his notable roles have provided ample opportunity for this. A socially awkward genius solving a murder (Sherlock). A socially awkward genius solving the war (The Imitation Game). A tortured teenage prince having an existential crisis (Hamlet). A posho in tweed suffering the heat of an Edwardian summer (Parade’s End). A posho in tails…

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