Felicity Kendal (pictured) will follow in the footsteps of Dame Judi Dench playing ageing actress Esme Allen in Sir Peter Hall’s revival of David Hare’s 1997 play Amy’s View. The new production opens for a fortnight at the Theatre Royal Bath on 2 October 2006 before a four-week tour and planned West End transfer in November (London dates and venue tbc).

Esme, a West End veteran who makes a living through TV soap operas, is locked in a battle of ideology and emotional conflict with her daughter Amy. Spanning the years from Labour's fall from power in 1979 to post-Thatcherite England in 1995, Amy's View explores one family's lives, loves and tragedies while also providing a social commentary on the demise of theatre and traditional values.

Amy's View premiered in 1997 at the National Theatre - directed by Richard Eyre, Hall’s successor as NT artistic director, and starring Dench opposite Samantha Bond as Amy - and subsequently transferred to the West End and Broadway.

Kendal was last seen in the West End in 2003 playing Winnie in Hall’s production of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days. She's also been directed by Hall in Amadeus, Othello at the National, Waste, The Seagull and An Absolute Turkey in the West End. Best known to TV fans for The Good Life, Kendal's other West End credits include Humble Boy, Fallen Angels and Alarms and Excursions.

In Amy’s View, Kendal’s titular daughter will be played by Jenna Russell, currently starring in the West End in Sunday in the Park with George. High Society, Martin Guerre and, at the Donmar Warehouse, Into the Woods. On TV, Russell has been seen in Born and Bred, Men Only and Peak Practice. On stage, she’s best known for her musical credits which, in addition to Sunday, include Guys and Dolls, High Society, Martin Guerre, Into the Woods and Girlfriends.

Following Bath, Hall’s Theatre Royal Bath production of Amy’s View will visit Brighton, Cambridge, Richmond and Malvern prior to London. The cast also features Ryan Kiggell as Dominic and Antonia Pemberton as Evelyn.

- by Terri Paddock