I must tell you how must I enjoyed listening to Letter’s Live in London’s iconic Freemasons’ Hall read by some of the most talented and inspirational creatives.
I can’t believe I forgot to hit “publish” on this blog post.
It was an absolutely incredible night and I want to recommend the experience to anyone who loves live theatre, books, letters and brilliant talented people. The independent publishing house Canongate created and developed Letters Live, inspired by Shaun Usher’s international best-selling Letters of Note series.
Maureen Lipman got the most laughs. Jude Law read a VERY funny letter from Fred Allen in 1937 which was a letter to an insurance company detailing his strange experience with a barrel, bricks and a pulley – Jude Law’s American accent was also rather brilliant, of course.
The one and only Benedict Cumberbatch read a 17-year-old Tom Hanks‘s letter to the film director George Roy Hill asking to be discovered. I found most of the letters emotional and uplifting, especially this one, there’s something so uplifting about it.
“Dear Mr. Hill,
Seeing that … I have seen your fantastically entertaining and award-winning film “The Sting,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, and enjoyed it very much, it is all together fitting and proper that you should “discover” me. Now, right away I know what you are thinking: ‘Who is this kid?’ and I can understand your apprehensions. I am a nobody. No one outside of Skyline High School has heard of me. … My looks are not stunning. I am not built like a Greek God, and I can’t even grow a mustache, but I figure if people will pay to see certain films … they will pay to see me.”
Caitlin Moran read “to the girls I meet at my book signings” which you can read in full here.
Carey Mulligan read a letter to the Telegraph from Bertha Brewster in 1913, which of course had a nice link, seeing as Mulligan recently starred in the film Suffragette.
Mulligan also read out the most heart-wrenching letter from a mother of a dying child to JK Rowling, telling Rowling that she had changed her daughter’s life through her fictional magical worlds.
At the end of the evening, a young refugee from Syria called Hassan read an open letter to the “people of Europe”. It was one of the most moving things I’ve ever witnessed. Please follow HelpRefugees and buy a Choose Love T-shirt.
Keep your eye’s peeled on tickets for the next one. I’ll be definitely snapping mine up, too.
BRING A TISSUE WITH YOU.
“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE
"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"– The Debrief
“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic