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Judi Dench: Helen Mirren's drum protest was 'terrific'

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At last night's Whatsonstage.com Outing to Peter and Alice, Judi Dench endorsed her fellow Dame Helen Mirren's drastic approach to silencing a group of drummers recently.

Asked what she made of Mirren's actions on Saturday, which saw her hit headlines round the world for berating the drummers outside the Gielgud Theatre while dressed as The Queen, Dench said "terrific!", before revealing she's had to deal with plenty of distractions herself.

"The other day we had a helicopter which went over the theatre for three quarters of an hour," she said. "Another time we had someone taking a lot of pictures with a red flashing light, all the way through our first scene."

Peter and Alice director Michael Grandage added that they scrutinise the audience on a nightly basis. "We're reviewed once but audiences don't realise that we're reviewing them every night," he said.

Terri Paddock, Judi Dench, Ben Whishaw & Michael Grandage at the Q&A

Dench also revealed a personal connection to the story of Peter and Alice, which centres on the stories of the real-life inspirations for the characters of Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan.

"In 1960 I was at the Old Vic and living at Eaton Terrace, so my station was Sloane Square," she recalled. "I remember the death of Peter Llewelyn Davies happening very clearly... It was absolutely shocking."

See our live tweeting from last night's Q&A in the box below:


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