Benedict Cumberbatch, Olivia Colman and Toby Jones take to the stage for Letters Live

The trio were joined by Louise Brealey, Mark Strong, Maxine Peake and Tom Hollander at Hay Festival yesterday

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Letters Live, the event celebrating the very best in literary correspondence, returned to Hay Festival yesterday with the sort of star-studded cast we’ve come to expect. The format is simple. Various striking letters are performed by a series of stars in front of a live audience. 

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In the case of yesterday’s session, the performers represented a who’s who of British acting royalty, with Benedict Cumberbatch, Olivia Colman, Tom Hollander, Maxine Peake, Toby Jones, Louise Brealey and Mark Strong all taking to the stage to narrate. Here they are backstage…

And watching one another from the side of the stage…

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For any Hay festival goers who missed last night’s performance, this afternoon delivers another – and for those unable to attend, Letters Live has continued to tweet out pictures from behind the scenes.