Dame Judi Dench will officially re-open the Ashcroft Playhouse at Croydon’s Fairfield Halls, opening 16 September.

It forms part of a week-long series of events celebrating the venue’s re-opening, after years of redevelopment.

Dench will take part in an exclusive Q&A hosted by broadcaster John Hannam, about her friend and Croydon-born fellow actress Dame Peggy Ashcroft.

The Q&A will take place in front of a specially-invited audience of students from local schools studying GCSE and A-Level drama and a limited number of tickets will be available for members of the public to purchase from Friday 9 August.

Dame Judi previously visited Fairfield Halls on 23 June 1993, when she unveiled a display commemorating Dame Peggy’s life including a painting, photographs and an Evening Standard award.

And when she returns next month, she will read a specially-commissioned piece of poetry and unveil a commemorative photo mosaic created by artist Helen Marshall. The image of Dame Peggy will be made up of hundreds of images of Croydon residents.

Dame Judi Dench commented: “I’m delighted to be returning to Croydon’s Fairfield Halls to celebrate the life and career of my dear friend Peggy Ashcroft, and I’m thrilled to reopen the Ashcroft Playhouse in her honour. I hope new generations visiting the venue will discover her legacy and be inspired by it.”