Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch reads love letters in sell-out Hay Festival performance
It is a moment many an adoring Sherlock fan would think too good to be true, even in their wildest dreams: Sitting in the same room with Benedict Cumberbatch as he lustfully, personally, recounts his deepest carnal desires.
But this is exactly what a sell-out crowd at the 2014 Hay Festival got this week when the man who currently seems to be able to do no wrong on both the big and small screen read aloud from a series of historic love letters.
He was among a group of actors who took to the stage in front of 1,700 people at the literature festival in Hay-on-Wye, as part of Letters Live, a show to celebrate the dying art of letter writing.
Driving the self-proclaimed "Cumberb***es" wild with his animated recital of a series of love letters between World War II Signalman Chris Barker and his sweetheart Bessie Moore, he also read the tragic letter written by explorer Robert Scott to his wife on knowing he was going to die on his Antarctic mission in 1912.
Not all were love letters however, as another covered correspondence between poet Ted Hughes and his son Nicholas.
The actor's appearance is thought to have sparked the second quickest ticket sellout in the festival's history, coming second only to the late Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney's performance in 2006.
Hay Festival director Peter Florence told Wales Online: “It’s been very busy today adding a huge festival audience to the Benedict Cumberbatch appreciation society, which is a passionate and enormous group of people.
“He’s a fabulous actor and happens to have the zeitgeist.
“Sherlock has lifted him into a global star but he manages to combine stardom with utter brilliance which is really rare.”
Letters Live was inspired by To The Letter, a book by Simon Garfield, who introduced the show.
He told the crowd: “I’m convinced it would have been faster selling if only Benedict Cumberbatch had been 3 per cent sexier.”
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 3 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins
Sherlock series 4: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have to be 'persuaded' to return, says Steven Moffat
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Oldest footage of London landmarks released
A victory for gender equality on the high seas
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election