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Kendal’s View Confirms Opening at Garrick, 20 Nov

By • West End
Peter Hall’s new production of David Hare’s 1997 play Amy's View - starring Felicity Kendal (pictured) in the part of ageing actress Esme Allen, originated by Dame Judi Dench – has confirmed details for its London transfer this autumn (See News, 7 Jul 2006). Following a four-week regional tour, it will open at the West End’s Garrick Theatre on 20 November 2006 (previews from 14 November).

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.

The drama 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. Hall’s new production is the first major London revival of Amy's View and incorporates revisions Hare made for the play’s Broadway premiere.

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 and Othello at the National, and 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. 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.

Kendal and Russell will be joined in the Amy's View cast by Gawn Grainger (currently in The Seagull at the NT), Ryan Kiggell (You Never Can Tell for the Peter Hall company in Bath and the West End) and Antonia Pemberton. Prior to the West End, Amy's View opens on 2 October 2006 at Bath, continuing to Brighton, Cambridge, Richmond and Malvern. The Theatre Royal production is designed by Simon Higlett, with lighting by Peter Mumford and sound by Gregory Clark.

Currently at the Garrick, Ned Sherrin’s production of Keith Waterhouse’s Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell, in which Tom Conti reprises his role as the infamous Soho drinker and Low Life columnist, is due to finish its limited season on 2 September 2006.

- by Terri Paddock


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