4-5 August 2018
Letters Live returned to Oxfordshire in 2018 to entertain the crowds at the picturesque Wilderness Festival following a magnificent debut in 2017. During the first weekend of August, as headliners of the festival’s Talks and Debates programme, Letters Live descended upon the stunning Atrium stage to seduce the audience with, as ever, a cast of readers and letters certain to surprise and delight.
Letters Live has been wowing audiences since its low-key inception in 2013, and to this day its mission has remained the same: to harness the unrivalled power of old-fashioned correspondence and breathe new life into the stories contained within letters with the help of an ever-changing cast of some of the most acclaimed performing talent from around the world.
Past Letters Live performers have included such luminaries as Benedict Cumberbatch, Olivia Colman, Jude Law, Juliet Stevenson, Russell Brand, Kylie Minogue, Gillian Anderson, Nick Cave, Thandie Newton, Riz Ahmed, Oscar Isaac, Jarvis Cocker, Benjamin Clementine, Carey Mulligan and Noel Fielding. Letters Live is inspired by Shaun Usher’s best-selling Letters of Note, and by Simon Garfield’s To the Letter.
Wilderness is an award-winning festival of music, food, arts, learning, literature and rejuvenation which began in 2011 amongst the lakes, forests and parkland of Oxfordshire’s exquisite Cornbury Estate.
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That is not the way to play football
David Hickey to Independent
I did as you told me
James Joyce to Nora Barnacle
You Babylonian scullion
Mehmed IV to Zaporozhian Cossacks
A lousy proposition
Evelyn Waugh to Laura Herbert
Yours are kept forever
Thomas Bailey Aldirch to Edward S. Morse
And now I must dress to receive the planets, dear
Willa Cather to Edith Lewis
Thank you, and I hope you choke
Beatles fan to Nike
Oh my ass burns like fire!
Mozart to Marianne
That’s Deadwood for you
Calamity Jane to Her daughter
Sarah-Louise Jordan to An admirer
Have a Happy Period
Wendi Aarons to James Thatcher
Are you supposed to be normal?
Harold Pinter to A Theatregoer
O hogtied friend
WS Graham to Roger Hilton
She is bald
Arthur Conan Doyle to His Mother
Dear Empress Hotel
Nick Burchill to Empress Hotel
I’m sick thinking of the whole mess
Ralph Ellison to His Mother
On the uses of books
Ford Madox Ford to Isidor Schneider
We are just ordinary people
Hossein to the People of Europe
Picture the scene
Rik Mayall to Bob Geldof
Now her soul is free
Ram Dass to Steve and Anita Isser
I could never describe it
Nellie Walcroft to Clara
You know who you are (Daft Punk complaint)
Australian to Their Neighbour
Lady Elizabeth Compton to Lord William Compton
You may not send us your verses
Angus and Robertson to FC Meyer
You are an inspiration
Melissa Rivers to Joan Rivers
What should I do?
Frustrated to Abby