Past event

Wilderness Festival, 2017

5-6 August 2017

Letters Live travelled to Oxfordshire in 2017 to entertain the crowds at the picturesque Wilderness Festival for the first time. 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.


Saturday, 5th August 2017


Amanda Abbington

Fortunately, I had my new radio

Mary Grant to A. Walker



Amanda Abbington and Zawe Ashton

Dear Friend

Hermione Gingold to A Friend



Benedict Cumberbatch

I pity you

Roger Taylor to Rolling Stone Magazine

The Cat Ranch

Jack Lemmon to Walter Matthau

Seat 29E

A Customer to Continental Airlines



Jonjo O’Neil

Thanks a heap Susan

George Harrison to Susan Houghton



Mark Strong

I invented punk

Lester Bangs to East Village Eye

The canvas has an idiotic stare

Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh

I would like to retain ‘fart in your general direction

Mark Foraster to Michael White

Not raising hogs

J.B. Lee, Jr. to Ed Foreman



Tom Hollander

P.S. This is my favorite memo ever

Matt Stone to the MPAA

If only

Percy Grainger to Karen Holten



Tom Hollander and Amanda Abbington

I am so close behind you

Leonard Cohen to Marianne Ihlen



Zawe Ashton

Your road manager needs a POKE

Anonymous child to Rolling Stones

Keep Dreaming

Debbie Harry to her younger self


Sunday, 6th August 2017


Amanda Abbington

We press you close and kiss you with all our strength

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg to thir sons



Benedict Cumberbatch

Our gods are assholes

Iggy Pop to Joshua Berger

Life itsef is life

DH Lawrence to Katharine Mansfield



Benedict Cumberbatch and Louise Brealey

Dogs vs. Cats

Letters to the Guardian



Ian McShane

There’s no hope in war

Kurt Vonnegut to the Draft Board

We all feel like that now and then

Sir Archibald Clark Kerr to Lord Reginald Pembroke

Your type is a dime a dozen

Hunter S. Thompson to Anthony Burgess



Ian McShane and Russell Brand

The mingled souls of wheat and corn

R.G. Ingersoll and Rev. Dr. J.M. Buckley



Louise Brealey

Dear One

Rachel Carson to Dorothy Freeman

The most beautiful work of all

Patti Smith to Robert Mapplethorpe



Russell Brand

To my ever-loving wife

Don to His Wife



Tom Hollander

I have had my eye on you

Simon Fallowfield to Mary Foster

The grand bi-polar old Duke of York

Mark Piggott to Private Eye Magazine

This would make him mine

John Steinbeck to Marilyn Monroe



Tony Robinson

Torturing the Saxophone

Robert Crumb to Mats Gustafson

Ye have made me such a pisser

Lord Edmund Howard to Lady Lisle

Your miserable friend

Lewis Carroll to Annie Rogers



Zawe Ashton

I wanted to be a nun or a movie star

Madonna to Stephen Lewick

Straighten up and fly right, Banky!

Billie Holliday to Tallulah Bankhead