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Cheltenham Literature Festival review: The Poetry Corner with Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner, The Garden Theatre
Glouchester Echo
JR Maidment
12 October 2014

As Sophie Turner, the actress who plays Sansa Stark in HBO’s fantasy epic Game of Thrones, talked dramatically about swords and tombs you could have been forgiven for wondering where you were.

“The Knight’s bones are dust, and his good sword rust,” she said.

But this was not Winterfell or anywhere else in Westeros - this was Cheltenham Literature Festival and the 18-year-old was reciting Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s gloomy poem The Knight’s Tomb.

She was just one of three actors who took to the stage for a poetry recital in The Sunday Times Garden Theatre this morning.

And while many of the younger faces in the audience had come to see her it was Nathaniel Parker, fresh from playing Henry VIII in Wolf Hall for the Royal Shakespeare Company, who arguably stole the show.

The host of the Poetry Corner event, Allie Esiri, said at the start its aim was to “bowl the audience over with verse” and Nat Parker certainly did just that.

His reading of William Blake’s The Tyger - his favourite poem - was perhaps the highlight, but a clever performance of Rudyard Kipling’s A Smuggler’s Song and an energetic recital of a poem from Roald Dahl’s The Witches ran it close.

Sophie and Nat were joined by Gina Bellman, the star of the BBC sitcom Coupling and the US show Leverage, and her reading of William Wordsworth’s I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud was perhaps the most emotive of the morning session.

Sophie Turner’s performance of the film director Tim Burton’s The Girl With Many Eyes was also particularly enjoyable. 

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