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Gnomeo and Juliet

Wednesday 26 March 2003 @ 15:48 - GMT

Dame Judi Dench and Kate Winslet are to provide the voices for a new film about garden gnomes.

The film, an animated Disney-backed venture called Gnomeo and Juliet, is being made by Rocket Pictures, the production company of Elton John and partner David Furnish.

As might be expected, the film will be an adaptation of Shakespeare's light-hearted romantic comedy Romeo and Juliet. Winslet will play Juliet and Dame Judi her nurse, their gnome characters computer-generated against an English garden background.

Elton will write the score for the film in collaboration with fellow musical aristo Sir Tim Rice, but reportedly turned down the honour of having one of the gnome characters modelled on him because he did not like its hair, rotund curves or its habit of spending a fortune on flowers.