Dame Judi Dench gave an insight into her illustrious theatre career at a sold out one-off fundraising event.

The Watermill Theatre in Newbury, which was named Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards, hosted Shakespeare: Judi Dench in conversation with Brendan O'Hea.

The Oscar winner shared Shakespearean stories and anecdotes in the intimate auditorium.

Herald Series: Dame Judi Dench meet and greet

Dame Judi also spent time with the acting company, hearing about their own acting experiences.

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Tickets sold out within hours of going on sale, and the whole event raised over £20,000 which will go to support the theatre to continue to work with local communities and producing a world-class programme on stage.

Artistic Director Paul Hart said: “We were delighted to welcome Dame Judi Dench and Brendan O’Hea to the Watermill Theatre.

"It’s so generous of them to give up their time to support our fundraising following a complete cut to our Arts Council grant. 

"It was particularly fitting that Judi came and spoke about her career of performing Shakespeare on the set of our current production of Much Ado about Nothing.

Herald Series: Dame Judi Dench meet and greet

"Her recent book highlights the importance of regional theatre in giving opportunities to actors of all ages but particularly to young performers. 

"So many actors have gone on to great things having had early opportunities at the Watermill including Ncuti Gatwa, Johnny Flynn even Sean Bean. And that’s not to mention all the people working backstage and in our creative teams. 

"Judi and Brendan have long been supporters of the work at the Watermill and their help has come at an invaluable time for us as we continue to navigate the future without any statutory funding.”