The Royal Shakespeare Company’s All's Well That Ends Well has extended its limited sell-out season in the West End by two weeks.

The new production, which features Dame Judi Dench (pictured), opened at London’s Gielgud Theatre for ten weeks only from 18 February 2004 (See News, 30 Sep & 2 Oct 2003), but following to critical acclaim and popular demand, it will now book on until 8 May 2004.

The production was first seen at Stratford's Swan Theatre, where it ran for two months up to 7 February 2004, marking Dench's return to the RSC's home ground after an absence of nearly a quarter of a century (See News, 11 Jul 2003).

An Honorary Associate Artist at the RSC, Dench had not performed in Stratford since playing Imogen in the 1979 production of Cymbeline, while her last RSC performance in London (Barbican and West End) was in Peter Shaffer's The Gift of the Gorgon more than a decade ago.

Dench is joined in the All's Well That Ends Well cast by Claudie Blakley (The Lady from the Sea) as Helena, Jamie Glover (Edward III, The Island Princess) as Bertram and Guy Henry (The Coast of Utopia, King John) as Parolles.

This new All's Well That Ends Well, directed by Gregory Doran, is the RSC's first production of the bard's bittersweet comedy since Peter Hall's mounting in 1992. It’s designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis and is presented in the West End by Bill Kenwright and Thelma Holt.

NOTE: Booking for new dates opens Monday 22 March 2004.

- by Terri Paddock