As reported back in December, producer Robert Fox has achieved an impresario's dream of uniting the most distinguished and bankable Dames in British theatre - Maggie Smith and Judi Dench - in a new play (Breath of Life) by one of England's most consistently successful and watchable playwrights, David Hare.
Although details of venue and director - and, indeed, Breath of Life's subject matter, other than that it is a drama - have yet to be confirmed, the fact that it will be staged in the West End in September is already arousing considerable press and public interest. David Hare last worked with Dame Judi when she appeared -- first at the National, then the Aldwych and finally on Broadway -- in his drama Amy's View, a play which gave the actress one of the best roles of her career, as an actress who rediscovers the power of theatre and finds a personal fulfillment through it.
Both actresses just been nominated for Academy Awards: Dame Judi for Best Actress in "Iris" (directed by Amy's View director Richard Eyre) and Dame Maggie for Best Supporting Actress in "Gosford Park."
Fox recently said that his plans to bring Smith to Broadway in The Lady in the Van in 2003 were currently on hold.
—by Paul Webb Theatrenow