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Judi Dench - poor eyesight cured my stagefright

The stage legend has found an unexpected upside to her deteriorating vision

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Dame Judi Dench performing at the National Theatre's 50th anniversary gala
© Catherine Ashmore

Judi Dench was apparently cured of nerves and stage fright when her eyesight became too poor for her to make out everyone in the audience.

The actress has been a star name for decades, but has admitted to suffering with nerves throughout her stage career. In recent years however her deteriorating vision, caused by macular degeneration, has become an unexpected blessing in disguise.

Speaking to press at Cheltenham Literature Festival, she said: "I used to be able to see every member of the audience and what they were doing. I can't do that any more which in a way is a wonderful blessing. I didn't realise it was a blessing until I went on at the Proms [in 2010]. There was like a sea of corn in front of me. And I looked up and thought 'there is nobody upstairs'."

She also gave hope to fans that she may have more stage roles in her, saying that the idea of doing eight shows a week "doesn't phase" her.

"If you do eight performances that is the amount of energy you have," she added. "Fortunately I was blessed with an enormous amount of energy because my parents had that."

Dench recently starred in a music video made by actors Dan Poole and Giles Terera to promote their Shakespeare documentary Muse of Fire. Watch below...


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