Sherlocks Benedict Cumberbatch may currently be the most adored actor in the world. From Hollywood to the BBC, it appears he can do no wrong and every role he undertakes oozes charisma and class. For many self proclaimed 'Cumberb****es', hearing their hero recite deep, personal love letters is something they could only ever dream of, but that is exactly what happened in front of a sell out audience at the 2014 Hay Festival.
In front of 1,700 people at the literature festival in Hay-on-Wye, Cumberbatch took to the stage to drive the crowd wild with his animated recitals of love letters between World War II Signalman Chris Barker and his sweetheart Bessie Moore, as well as the tragic letter written by explorer Robert Scott to his wife on knowing he was going to die on his Antarctic mission in 1912.
His appearance has also sparked the second quickest ticket sales in the events history, beat only by the late Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney's performance in 2006. Hay Festival director Peter Florence elaborated on the success to Wales Online;
It’s been very busy today adding a huge festival audience to the Benedict Cumberbatch appreciation society, which is a passionate and enormous group of people.
He’s a fabulous actor and happens to have the zeitgeist.
Sherlock has lifted him into a global star but he manages to combine stardom with utter brilliance which is really rare.
The event was inspired by the book To The Letter, by Simon Garfield, who introduced the show. He jokingly stated “I’m convinced it would have been faster selling if only Benedict Cumberbatch had been 3 per cent sexier.”
The event was called Letters Live and was put on to celebrate the dying art of letter writing.