Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench to Star in Richard Eyre Film "Notes on a Scandal" by Patrick Marber

News   Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench to Star in Richard Eyre Film "Notes on a Scandal" by Patrick Marber Stage and screen actresses Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench will star in the upcoming Patrick Marber-penned film "Notes on a Scandal."

Richard Eyre (Mary Poppins, "Stage Beauty") directs the film expected to be released Dec. 22 from Fox Searchlight Pictures. Scott Rudin and Robert Fox produce.

"When Sheba Hart (Blanchett) joins St. George's as the new art teacher, Barbara Covett (Dench) senses a kindred spirit. But Barbara is not the only one drawn to her. Sheba begins an illicit affair and Barbara becomes the keeper of her secret," reads production notes on the work, billed as "a story of loneliness, loyalty, envy and love."

London scribe Marber, known for his stageplays including Dealer's Choice, found success in film with his screen version of his play Closer (which starred Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman and Jude Law.) His Howard Katz will make its American debut Off-Broadway this season with Alfred Molina starring at the Laura Pels Theater.

Blanchett recently starred in Hedda Gabler which played at New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music. A Sydney Theatre Company veteran of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, Timothy Daly's Kafka Dances and David Mamet's Oleanna, Blanchett's film career was launched with her roles in "Paradise Road" opposite Glenn Close, "Oscar and Lucinda" opposite Ralph Fiennes, and her lauded (and Oscar-nominated) performance in "Elizabeth." Opting to return to the stage, she then starred in a London staging of David Hare's Plenty.

Dame Dench currently stars in Peter Hall’s revival of Noël Coward's Hay Fever in London. The actress appeared in David Hare’s Breath of Life and Kaufman and Ferber's The Royal Family on the same stage (Theatre Royal, Haymarket). Stateside, she has earned a Tony Award for Amy's View. She is also known for her work in the films "Shakespeare in Love," "Iris," "Mrs Henderson Presents," "Pride & Prejudice" and a number of James Bond films as M. For more information, visit www.foxsearchlight.com.

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