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Conversation with Dame Judi Dench goes online in campaign to save theatre

Dame Judi Dench appeared at the London theatre (Orange Tree/PA)
Dame Judi Dench appeared at the London theatre (Orange Tree/PA)

An intimate conversation with Dame Judi Dench will become available to watch online as part of the campaign to save the Orange Tree Theatre.

Recorded in 2017 at the venue in Richmond, south-west London, the 90-minute discussion was hosted by broadcaster Gyles Brandreth.

Viewers can watch the film on the theatre’s website from later this month, through a payment of £4.99.

It saw the veteran actress recount stories of Sir John Gielgud, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Clint Eastwood and Johnny Depp among others, and took place as part of the inaugural Under The Orange Tree series.

Money raised will go to the Orange Tree Theatre’s Survival Fund, launched in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The venue closed its doors on March 16, subsequently losing 74% of its income.

The theatre’s artistic director, Paul Miller, said: “This film records one of my happiest days ever: the day Judi came to the Orange Tree.

“It’s 90 minutes of enormous fun and fascinating insights, in the company of a national treasure with few, if any, rivals for our collective affection.

Graham Norton Show – London
Dame Judi Dench on the Graham Norton Show (Isabel Infantes/PA)

“We hear about John Gielgud and Peggy Ashcroft; Clint Eastwood and Johnny Depp; about Ken Branagh, Peter Hall and how to speak Shakespeare.

“The crucial importance of company spirit runs through it all like a golden thread.

“And what company she is: this is a treat to savour in your home, while we wait to welcome you back to ours one day.”

The interview will be available from 3pm on Sunday April 26 via orangetreetheatre.co.uk.

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