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Dame Judi Dench gifts Shakespeare In Love set to theatre

Stage and screen veteran Dame Judi Dench is donating film sets from Oscar-winning movie Shakespeare In Love to a new British theatre festival.
The Skyfall star, who won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her portrayal of Elizabeth I in the 1999 movie, will donate a replica of William Shakespeare’s open-air theatre from the film.
When filming wrapped on the 1999 movie Dame Judi, 81, persuaded producers David Parfitt and Harvey Weinstein to give her the beautifully crafted sets, even though she had no plans on what to do with them.
The sets will now be reassembled at a site in Knowsley, England, in preparation for a new theatre festival which will celebrate the opening of the new venue in the summer of 2019.
It will take three years for workmen to assemble the replica ‘Rose Theatre’, which will be assembled outdoors next to the new indoor 350-seat Shakespeare North Theatre, to function as an additional open air stage.
Speaking to MailOnline, chair of the projects development committee Kathy Dacre said the fixtures have been moved from London to a storage facility at Knowsley Safari Park. “They’re being guarded by lions and tigers, so the insurance is very low,” she joked.
The new North Theatre playhouse will form a “bard’s triangle” with other Shakespeare landmarks, the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford, and Shakespeare’s Globe in London.
The donation comes as the U.K. Government donated £5 million ($7.2million) to the project celebrating the life of the country’s famous bard.
The new venue will be built near Prescot, where the first Elizabethan indoor theatre outside London originally stood, and will also house an International University College for Shakespearean acting.
Dame Judi is one of the U.K.’s best loved actors whose theatrical output has included award-winning work for Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre.

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