Sunday 01 June, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch at Hay Festival 2014


Benedict was definitely the real star at this year’s Hay Festival. On two days he read lovely letters at Letters Live and was moreover presenter at the children story competition “500 Words”.

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Benedict Cumberbatch was very present at this year’s Hay Festival and attracted quite a lot of fans in the usually very quite area Hay-on-Wye in Wales. The festival focusses on literature and arts, and therefore a lot artists like musicians, writers, poets and actors were scheduled to perform.

Before his scheduled appearance at Letters Live on Friday, 30 May, Benedict took the chance to announce the Bronze winner, Juliette Lea, at a writing competition for Kids called 500 Words.  He also read her story, which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 in the early morning hours.


(Credit: BBC Radio 2 Twitter)

You can listen to Benedict reading Juliette’s story right here:

And there is also a short video snippet, which was shown on The One Show:


After that, it was time to prepare for the Letter Live Event. The preparation backstage looked like this: quite chilled and relaxed.

Hay Backstage

(Credit: Jamie Byng Twitter)

 Benedict read the following letters at the event:

Robert Scott – To: My Widow: The final letter from the explorer to his wife Kathleen from the Antarctica
Ted Hughes – Live Like A Mighty River: A poets letter to his son Nicholas
Letters from the correspondence between Chris Baker and Bessie Moore during the 2nd World War


Here are a few short videos from the reading:


(Credit: Idrillia Twitter)

On Saturday, visitors could hardly await Benedict’s second appearance. His reading on this day included:

Letters from Chris Baker to his beloved Bessie Moore, in which he proposes their
engagement. Bessies part was read by Benedict‘s Sherlock-colleague Louise Brealey.


(Credit: Jamie Byng Twitter)

Here are videos of the Chris/Bessie correspondance and the Iggy Pop letter:

But there was more. Benedict turned out to be a suprise guest at Judi Dench’s panel. The actress talked about her shakespearian works and her album called Exits and Entrances. Judi Dench and Benedict also recited a scene from Anthony and Cleopatra. A real highlight for everyone present. Benedict also used the chance to ask if she would like to join him in Richard III later this year – Judi Dench’s answer: Yes!


(Credit: Wiard Sterk Twitter)


Further information:
More about Letters of Note
The Hay Festival 2014

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