Home » Critically acclaimed actress Dame Judi Dench receives the Hay Festival 2024 Medal for Drama 
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Critically acclaimed actress Dame Judi Dench receives the Hay Festival 2024 Medal for Drama 

DAME JUDI Dench is one of the world’s most celebrated actresses. She has won numerous awards for her extensive work in film, television and most notably in theatre. Her most recent book, Shakespeare: The Man who Pays the Rent, was published in 2023 (Penguin Michael Joseph, £25) and gives an insight into her seven decade long career playing Shakespeare’s most reputable roles, from Lady Macbeth to Titania. 

Awarded annually since Britain’s 2012 Olympic year, Hay Festival Medals draw inspiration from the original Olympic medal for poetry. Medals are given to extraordinary writers, thinkers and creatives and crafted locally by silversmith Christopher Hamilton. All feature an Athenian owl, copied from an ancient Greek silver coin dating between 450 BC and 406 BC, and are engraved with the name and category of each winner.

Judi sits alongside Gary Linker (Medal for Broadcast Journalism),  Huw Stephens (Medal for Music) and Laura Bates (Medal for Non-Fiction).

Hay Festival CEO Julie Finch said: “Hay Festival Medals this year will be awarded to honour exceptional work in the arts. We celebrate five inspirational figures at Hay Festival Hay-on-Wye 2024. In a turbulent world, this spring’s edition offers a programme of hope, innovation and creativity.”

Hay Festival Hay-on-Wye 2024 is supported by lead sponsors Welsh Government, Arts Council England and Arts Council Wales, lead media partner the BBC and digital media partner TikTok.

Launching the best new fiction and non-fiction, while offering insights and debate around significant global issues, the programme sees writers, policy makers, pioneers and innovators take part from around the world, offering big thinking and bold ideas. 

Hay Festival Hay-on-Wye runs to 2 June. Discover the full programme and book individual events online now at the Hay Festival website.