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Acting royalty Dame Judi Dench and Sir Kenneth Branagh unveil the restored Shakespeare statue at Stratford Town Hall



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Acting royalty were in Stratford this afternoon (Friday, 22nd April) to unveil the restored Shakespeare statue at the town hall.

After a civic reception Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench stood on the town hall’s balcony in order to ceremoniously remove a red velvet covering from the statue.

Sr Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench shared a joke as they enjoyed their visit to Stratford. Photo: Mark Williamson T22/4/22/9440
Sr Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench shared a joke as they enjoyed their visit to Stratford. Photo: Mark Williamson T22/4/22/9440

Ken thanked the assembled crowd for coming and said Judi had assured him she was a master at unveiling statues. “Keep your fingers crossed and we’ll give it a go,” joked Ken.

However Judi paused to share a jokey story. “Before I go ahead I’ll just tell you what happened to me a couple of months ago. We ordered a takeaway and the man that came to the door said ‘Ooh I know you!’ Thinking hard he said ‘You were in… er er’ and so I said ‘Lady Macbeth…? As Time Goes By…?’ and he said ‘No, it was the Mayflower Restaurant in Stratford-upon-Avon!’”

Sr Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench lead two sheep, Storm and Sauce, after unveiling the statute. Photo: Mark Williamson T22/4/22/9363. (56236962)
Sr Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench lead two sheep, Storm and Sauce, after unveiling the statute. Photo: Mark Williamson T22/4/22/9363. (56236962)

With that, Judi gave the rope attached to the covering a tug to reveal the now gleaming white Shakespeare statue after its £45K restoration.

Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench's names were unveiled in the town hall after their received the Freedom of the Borough. Photo: Mark Williamson T22/4/22/9925
Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench's names were unveiled in the town hall after their received the Freedom of the Borough. Photo: Mark Williamson T22/4/22/9925

Ken continued: “When I came to Stratford when I was 17 and I looked around town seeing all the things associated with Shakespeare and that is when I first saw the Garrick statue.



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