Judi Dench Plays Madame for Donmar in West EndDate: 2 November 2007
Dame Judi Dench (pictured) will return to the West End in 2009 to star in Yukio Mishima’s little-known Japanese play Madame de Sade, which runs from 18 March (previews from 13 March) to 23 May 2009 as part of the Donmar Warehouse’s much-anticipated year-long West End residency at Wyndham’s Theatre (See News, 10 Sep 2007).
The 1965 drama, translated by Donald Keene, centres on five women affected by the debauchery of the Marquis de Sade, including his wife and mother. In the six-strong cast, Dench will play Madame de Montreuil, the Marquis’ mother-in-law, in the London premiere production, directed by Donmar artistic director Michael Grandage. No further casting has yet been announced.
Dench was last seen in the West End in Peter Hall’s 2006 revival of Noel Coward’s Hay Fever at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Her other recent London theatre credits include the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of All's Well That Ends Well, for which she won a Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress, at the Gielgud in 2004; David Hare’s The Breath of Life opposite Maggie Smith in 2002 at the Haymarket; The Royal Family at the Haymarket in 2001; Filumena at the Piccadilly in 1999; Amy's View at the National in 1997 and at the Aldwych in 1998 and A Little Night Music at the National in 1995/96. Last winter, she also returned to the RSC’s Stratford home to appear in a musical version of The Merry Wives of Windsor as part of the company’s year-long Complete Works Festival (See News, 11 Jul 2005).
Madame de Sade is the third production scheduled for the “Donmar West End” season, which runs from September 2008 to August 2009 at Wyndham’s Theatre. The schedule also comprises: Ivanov, starring Kenneth Branagh and directed by Grandage; Twelfth Night, directed by Grandage with Derek Jacobi as Malvolio; and Hamlet, starring Jude Law and directed by Branagh (See News, 10 Sep 2007).
- by Terri Paddock