Benedict Cumberbatch (& bonus James Rhodes) at the Letters of Note event.
I do have more photos and every performer but its late so I’ll put them on my website tomorrow.
It was a superb event. Benedict & Kerry Fox read a number of letters from a signalman Christopher to his love Bessie during the second world war from To the Letter. The letters were romantic (I could visibly see woman swooning) and very funny.
Benedict also read this letter from Alan Turing to Norman Routledge
And it was heartbreaking. I was nearly in tears by the time he got to the final paragraph. Which bodes well for The Imitation Game.
Other highlights were Nick Cave reading his own letter to MTV and singing, James Rhodes reading a fantastic letter from Beethoven and playing his music, Juliet Stevenson moving me to tears reading Virgina Woolf’s suicide note, Peter Serafinowicz reading an adorable letter from David Bowie, Gillian Anderson brilliantly funny reading this letter from Dorothy Parker and Colin Salmon beautifully reading the best letter on the site.
A collab with Basil (Ghostbees)!
hurry man you are late for class!
Benedict reading Turing’s letter.
For those who need more dancing Ian in their life.
Does he not get lonely in there all by himself?
No, you see, I think that’s it. In all honesty, I do think the gold thing is his status made real. He doesn’t have to prove anything, he’s sitting on it. And there’s a great metaphor for capitalism gone wrong in the last couple of decades. The potency of this story, nearly 100 years on, is that — like at the time it was written — it’s a metaphor for something much beyond the fantastical realities of the world that he’s created. It’s something that was born out of Europe at war and the rise of Nazism. The parallels are very, very clear. The bravery that it takes for Bilbo to do great things in a dangerous and dark world, that carries on as an inspirational story of courage. And I think Smaug, he’s kind of a horrific embodiment of the evil of the Third Reich. Both he and the necromancer, I believe, are. I think now that can work for market capitalism gone wrong. It’s just avarice and greed and all that venality is just large and it’s tied in with an ego that has human complexities, vanity and pride and all those things that make him think he’s invincible and stop him from realizing his limitations.
He seems to enjoy it when Bilbo invades his lair, though. He enjoys toying with him.
I think that’s a really good observation. I think another friend said it, both from women, I have to say, “He’s a male dragon, he needs a mate.”
What about the lonely female dragon from “Shrek?”
[Laughs] That’d be great. Oh my God, I can feel the fan fiction being written right now. If [the Internet’s] not still broken from my earlier discussions. Oh God. I know what you mean. But he’s so self-involved. Just “me and my gold.”