(Leslie White's article appeared in the Times of London, 2/14.)
Judi Dench and Peter Hall play tug of love
These old friends are reuniting after 48 years to give Shakespeare's Midsummer Night’s Dream a delightful surprise twist
An audience with the royals is always nerve-wracking, but at least there is usually a butler on hand with a stiff drink. Today, alas, there is only sad-looking guacamole in a tub for lunch, and a loudspeaker intoning: “Fifteen-minute call for Gentlemen of Verona.” Then again, we are visiting arts royalty, unsubsidised, egalitarian, concerned with the classical canon and the common good, curtsey not expected. Dame Judi Dench and Sir Peter Hall are enthroned but determinedly ungrand, stars who prefer to see themselves as troupers, busy as bees with plans for the future (he as director emeritus at the Rose Theatre in Kingston upon Thames; she with her late-flowering movie career, including another M in next year’s Bond), but, given half a chance, relaxing into their shared past as into a warm bath.
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