LINE UPS EACH NIGHT HAVE REMAINED A CLOSELY GUARDED SECRET, NAMES WHO HAVE SURPRISED AUDIENCES FROM 10-15TH MARCH INCLUDE BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, IAN MCKELLEN, JUDE LAW, SOPHIE HUNTER, OLIVIA COLMAN, CAREY MULLIGAN, CAITLIN MORAN, CAROLINE FLACK, JACK WHITEHALL, JACK DEE, LOUISE BREALEY, PETER CAPALDI, OSCAR ISAAC, ELLIE BAMBER, SANJEEV BHASKAR, SHAPPI KHORSANDI, JOHN BISHOP, BOB GELDOF, JARVIS COCKER, TOM ODELL AND MANY MORE
Tonight, 15th March, Letters Live – the live celebration of literary correspondence – closed a seven show run at the iconic Freemasons’ Hall with a host of star studded names.
Highlights across the March 2016 run at Freemasons’ Hall have included:
New rubbish dialogue – April 19th, 1976 – Alec Guinness to Anne Kaufman – performed by Oscar Isaac
Alec Guinness wrote to Anne Kaufman discussing the part of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, a film that boasted “rubbish dialogue” and a co-star momentarily named Tennyson Ford — that went on to introduce him to a far larger audience of avid fans, and which ultimately brought him huge financial reward.
Hassan Akkad to the People of Europe
Syrian refugee Hassan took to the stage on Friday and Saturday’s shows to deliver a stirring and shaming open letter to the “people of Europe” in which he asked the “dear kind people of Europe” to “please open your hearts and borders”.
DO – 1965 – Sol LeWitt to Eva Hesse – performed by Benedict Cumberbatch (Tuesday) / Bob Geldof (Friday)
In 1960, pioneering American artists Sol LeWitt and Eva Hesse met for the first time and became close friends. In 1965, Eva found herself facing a creative block during a period of self-doubt, and told Sol of her frustrating predicament.
Your words built a castle – February 2016 – Chrissy Hart to J. K. Rowling – performed by Ellie Bamber (Saturday matinee) / Carey Mulligan (Saturday evening)
Chrissy Hart wrote to J. K. Rowling, thanking her for the solace her Harry Potter series brought to their family after their daughters cancer diagnosis. This letter was submitted as part of a social media competition hosted by Letters Live.
Dear Internet – Tina Fey to Internet commenters – 2010 – performed by Tina Fey (Sunday), Shappi Khorsandi (Friday)
In 2010, American comedian Tina Fey cleared her schedule and did something therapeutic: she wrote back to numerous people who had made disparaging comments about her online.
Love, Dad – Ronald Reagan to his son Michael Reagan, June 1971 – performed by Tom Hollander
26-year-old Michael Reagan married his 18-year-old fiancée in a beautiful ceremony that took place in Hawaii, but which sadly couldn’t be attended by his dad, the future President of the United States, Ronald Reagan. A few days before the ceremony, Michael received a heartfelt, loving, and sage letter of fatherly advice, on the subject of love and marriage.
Dr. Mark Taubert to David Bowie – January 2016 – performed by Jarvis Cocker
Dr. Mark Taubert, Palliative Care Consultant at Velindre NHS Trust wrote a letter of thanks to his patient David Bowie following his death, thanking him for his dignity and for his influence on society in a number of ways.
Matt Stone to the MPAA – 1998 – performed by Matt Berry (Thursday), Jack Whitehall (Sunday), Robert Rinder (Friday)
Prior to the release of South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut in 1999, the movie’s creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, were asked repeatedly by the MPAA to alter the film in order for it to gain an R rating rather than an NC-17. Matt Stone responded to this request with this now-legendary memo.
Inspired by Shaun Usher’s international best-selling Letters of Note series and Simon Garfield’s To the Letter, Letters Live returned in 2016 with six evening shows and its first family matinee. Letters Live is a celebration of the enduring power of literary correspondence throughout history. Each show features a completely different array of great performers, reading remarkably emotive, diverse and surprising letters from around the world. The shows benefit a range of literary charities, including Ministry of Stories, First Story and Help Refugees.
Refreshments at Letters Live were hosted by Burger & Lobster with a selection of Tanqueray No. TEN cocktails.
Letters Live has supported a range of UK literacy initiatives via auctions and audience fundraising since its inception. Beneficiaries in the UK to date are Ministry of Stories, a creative writing and mentoring centre founded by Nick Hornby in East London for young people aged 8-18, First Story, a schools outreach literacy project founded by writer William Fiennes, and The Reading Agency. In June Letters Live co-presented its first event in Los Angeles, along with Dave Eggers’ literacy charity 826LA, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and which raised over $300,000.
Since its creation by Canongate Books in 2013, Letters Live has grown in reach and reputation. Following a partnership with film and television production company SunnyMarch in 2015, Letters Live has gone from strength to strength and will be announcing in due course further dates across 2016 and early 2017.
For further information please contact Murray Chalmers PR:
0207 361 0730