Director Richard Eyre and playwright David Hare, who closed the 1997-1998 Broadway season with The Judas Kiss, say they both expect to be back in New York this time next year with their current London hit, Amy's View -- and they're promising to bring along with them their award-winning star, Dame Judi Dench.
Hare told Playbill On-Line, "Judi has only visited America twice in 40 years, and both times she was in Los Angeles. She did Juliet in the Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet in 1957, and she attended the Oscars in March." (Dench was a Best Actress contender in 1998 for her performance of Queen Victoria in Mrs. Brown and lost to Helen Hunt, an American actress who praised Dench's performance to the heavens and is now doing Viola in Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center.)
A self-professed "political playwright," Hare allows that his Skylight, The Judas Kiss and Amy's View are less overtly political than their predecessors, but still "these latest three plays have a social element to them.
"Amy's View is about 18 years of an actress's life and her relationship with her daughter. It has a political point of view about these years. Its essential subject is the difficulty the British have in living in the present day, about how they're always pulled back into the past. And that has been a phenomenal success in London to a point where I don't think it has ever had an empty seat."
Dench was nominated for a 1998 Oscar for her regal portrayal in Mrs. Brown and her work as James Bond's boss in the two latest 007 romps. Other screen credits include Wetherby, A Room with a View, Jack and Sarah and Kenneth Branagh's Henry V. "She's the most dedicated actress of her generation," says Hare, "and she has literally just stuck to what she does -- which is great, great stage acting."