Benedict Cumberbatch pops question to Judi Dench: 'Would you be in Richard III with me?'

The Sherlock star asked Dench to star alongside him at the Hay Festival

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The Independent Culture

Dame Judi Dench has agreed to star opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in a new TV adaptation of Richard III, after the Sherlock star popped the question at the Hay Festival.

Dench was being interviewed by TV and theatre director Richard Eyre when, during a question and answer session with the audience, Cumberbatch put her on the spot and asked if she would join him for the show.

“Would you like to be in Richard III with me?” he said. “Yeah!” the Oscar-winning actress replied, as the crowd cheered.

Cumberbatch will play King Richard III in the forthcoming BBC Two film. He has been pursuing Dench to take on the role of Queen Margaret – one of few Shakespearean parts she has not tackled – in Dominic Cooke’s History Plays production.

Following Dench’s interview, Cumberbatch joined her on-stage for a performance of short excerpts from Shakespeare plays, including Antony and Cleopatra and Twelfth Night.


Cumberbatch also appeared at his own sell-out slot at the literature event when, much to the delight of his dedicated fan following, he read love letters to celebrate the dying art of letter writing.

Dench, 80, it not believed to have signed a contract to star in Richard III. But after agreeing in front of a live audience, can she really say no now?