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Judi Dench Returns to Madame After Ankle Injury

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After four missed performances due to a sprained ankle, Judi Dench (pictured) returns tonight to her role in Madame de Sade at the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre (See News, 20 Mar 2009).

The actress stumbled when leaving the theatre after Thursday night’s performance of the Yukio Mishima play and suffered a serious sprain. Her enforced absence over the weekend was on doctor’s orders. While Dench continues to recuperate, she will temporarily have to use a stick to aid her walking during the performance. The company are working together to facilitate any changes this may mean to the onstage performances and technical aspects of the production.

Dench said today: “I am thrilled to be returning to Madame de Sade, and would like to thank everyone for their support during this time. We are having enormous fun as a company, and I am looking forward to getting back to the role of Madame de Montreuil.”

Madame de Sade, the third production in the Donmar West End season at Wyndham’s, opened last week on 18 March 2009 (previews from 13 March) and continues its limited season until 23 May.

Written by the Japanese playwright in 1965, and translated by Donald Keene, Madame de Sade is set in 18th-century France and centres on five women affected by the debauchery of the Marquis de Sade. Dench plays the Marquis’ mother-in-law opposite Rosamund Pike as her daughter, the title character.

Also in the cast are Frances Barber, Deborah Findlay, Fiona Button and Jenny Galloway. During Dench’s absence, Madame de Montreuil was played by her understudy Marjorie Hayward. The production is directed by Donmar Warehouse artistic director Michael Grandage and designed by Christopher Oram.

- by Terri Paddock


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