On New Year’s Eve 2022, the well-known actor and Hollywood legend Dame Judi Dench shocked guests at the Fife Arms in Braemar, Scotland. She sat down with Scottish singer Sharleen Spiteri at the piano for a unique performance of ABBA’s “Waterloo”.
The impromptu performance, which was filmed by hotel owner Ewan Venters and has since gone viral on social media with over 200,000 views on Twitter! It took place just before a fireworks display marked the start of the new year. Dench, who is known for her roles in films such as Skyfall and has won an Academy Award, sang and played the piano alongside Spiteri, who took on lead vocals.
Despite her apparent piano skills, it was later revealed that the pub’s piano was actually a self-playing instrument. With her customary poise and fingers hovering above the keys, Dench played the role of pianist very convincingly, leading some to believe she had a fairy playing notes on the piano when her fingers weren’t on them. In fact, one viewer even commented that “the piano has a life of its own” and that Dench “can play that with the power of her brain.”
The performance took place while Dench and Spiteri were celebrating Hogmanay, the Scottish celebration of New Year’s Eve, at the Fife Arms. According to Venters, the pair “had met previously but after dinner, they met in the lobby and took to the piano. Guests were somewhat shocked but loved it!” He added that it was “a happy evening with many guests and locals clapping.”
In addition to her musical performance at the Fife Arms, Dench participated in Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends broadcast in England on New Year’s Eve. The actor has had a long and successful career in film and theater, winning numerous awards for her performances. In a recent interview, Dench spoke about planting “memorial trees” in her private forest in honor of much-missed friends such as Helen McCrory and Alan Rickman. She said, “Well, I love them. I love trees and I just thought what a nice thing that would be to do.”
However, Dench has also made headlines for less hospitable behavior. She recently recalled an incident that many of us can relate to. In a case of mistaken identity, she yelled “wanker” at a stranger. She thought it was her friend Alistair McGowan, but later realized it was not him – embarrassing! Despite this hilarious mishap, Dench’s talent and charm have made her a beloved figure in the entertainment industry and a national treasure in the UK.