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Judi Dench to reopen Ashcroft Playhouse in Croydon

A special event will be held at Fairfield Halls in Croydon next month

Judi Dench
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Judi Dench will reopen the Ashcroft Playhouse at Fairfield Halls in Croydon next month.

The Playhouse, previously known as the Ashcroft Theatre, was originally opened by Peggy Ashcroft, who grew up in Croydon, on 5 November 1962.

Dench said: "I'm delighted to be returning to Croydon's Fairfield Halls to celebrate the life and career of my dear friend Peggy Ashcroft, and I'm thrilled to reopen the Ashcroft Playhouse in her honour. I hope new generations visiting the venue will discover her legacy and be inspired by it."

At the event on Monday 16 September Dench will read a specially commissioned poem and unveil a commemorative photo mosaic by artist Helen Marshall. She will also take part in a Q&A hosted by broadcaster John Hannam and theatre critic Michael Billington.

Artistic and venue director Neil Chandler said: "We're delighted to welcome Dame Judi Dench back to Fairfield Halls to reopen the Ashcroft Playhouse. It will be a special moment for us as we reawaken the history of the theatre named after iconic actress Dame Peggy Ashcroft, as well as celebrating the success of Croydon's up and coming talent following in her footsteps."

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