Profile: Dame Judi Dench
With The Winter’s Tale set to open this month we felt it would be a good time to look at the one of the stars of this anticipated production from the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company.
Judi Dench, who plays Paulina in the production alongside Branagh as Leontes, has enjoyed a long and successful career on the stage and screen and prior to arriving at the Garrick Theatre for this production she has been seen at venues across the capital and in numerous films.
She is perhaps best known for her portrayal of M in the James Bond series, which saw her appear alongside Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig from Goldeneye to Skyfall, whilst she has also appeared in numerous other high profile films as well, like Iris and Shakespeare In Love.
But before she found herself in the spotlight she was born in York and her first taste of the stage came via her father who worked as a GP at the York Theatre and she developed an interest in the form, eventually studying at the Central School of Speech and Drama. After graduating she would go on to appear in numerous stage productions at venues like the Old Vic Theatre and films like Four In The Morning.
She also made her mark on the work of Shakespeare, appearing in numerous shows penned by the Bard and working with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Even today she continues to make appearances on the stage and in addition to this year’s The Winter’s Tale, her recent work includes Peter And Alice at the Noël Coward Theatre in 2013 and Madame De Sade at the Wyndham’s Theatre in 2009.
But it has been her mark on the screen that ensures her legacy. Dench, in addition to appearing in the Bond films, has appeared in the television series As Time Goes By and films like Iris, Philomena, The Chronicles Of Riddick and Notes On A Scandal and she continues to be regarded with great praise.
Judi Dench appears in The Winter’s Tale at the Garrick Theatre from Saturday 7th November 2015 (previews from Saturday 17th October 2015).