Dame Judi

Dame Judi Dench plays to full house

Arts Taunton were delighted to bring an evening with Dame Judi Dench to Taunton on Wednesday the 2 November.

The event took place at the Brewhouse to a full house.

Hosted by Julian Fellowes, Downtown Abbey creator, Dame Judi shared tales of her life and career on stage and screen.

The two stars donated their services for free in aid of our charity.

Dame Judi, widely considered to be this country’s foremost theatrical dame, said:

“I was so glad to be back at The Castle Hotel and to visit Taunton’s Brewhouse Theatre last week to see Kit Chapman and the trustees of Arts Taunton who are doing so much to promote the arts in the town.

“This charity does great work to help the community, particularly young people through their Tyca Festival, and in every sphere of creative endeavour.

“After the bleakness of the Covid lockdown it is so encouraging to have such wonderful support. Thank you, Taunton.”

Following her interview with Julian Fellowes, Dame Judi answered several questions from the audience.

She has appeared on stage in many classical roles, including Ophelia, Juliet and Lady Macbeth, while she took the part of M in several James Bond movies and appeared in TV shows such as As Time Goes By and Cranford.

We would like to think that the evening was a real success.

With every seat in the Brewhouse taken, we are aware that there were hundreds of disappointed fans who sat patiently on the waiting list.

We could have had filled the theatre several times over and are very grateful for the help and support we received throughout all the planning and delivery from the staff at the Brewhouse.

Although an incredibly hard act to follow, we at Arts Taunton are confident others will follow in her shoes.

Many people asked how we managed to draw such a big name to the area, and it was actually very simple – we just asked.

We hope others will take the same brave approach. People can only say no – and one day someone else, as generous as Dame Judi, will say yes, as we all work to build on our shared aspirations for our County town.