Her latest stage outing seems a safer critical bet; a reunion with director Peter Hall on an Elizabethan-set production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Rose Theatre, Kingston.
The production comes nearly 50 years after Dench and Hall first tackled the play at the RSC with Dench in the same role (Titania). Among those joining her in the cast this time round are Oliver Chris (Bottom), Annabel Scholey (Hermia), Rachael Stirling (Helena) and Charles Edwards (Oberon).
Sure enough, this morning's reviews marked a shining return to form as critics fell over themselves to praise Dench's performance. Assessments ranged from the short and sweet (“regal and lyrical”) to the long and lofty (“Dench can send a thrill of wonder through a line of Shakespeare like wind rippling through a field of wheat”). Plenty of acclamations also went Hall's way - still “sprinkling the magic dust” after nearly 60 years in the business – and to Dench's fellow cast members, including Oliver Chris's “especially satisfying” Bottom.
- Theo Bosanquet & Alex Mangini
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