A West End Dream team comes together at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket on Oct. 15 when Dames Maggie Smith and Judi Dench open in David Hare's new play, The Breath of Life — with the largest advance sale ever for a straight play in the West End.
Directed by Howard Davies, whose last great success was the Alan Rickman/Lindsay Duncan Private Lives in London and Broadway, The Breath of Life is about two strong women linked by an absent man — husband to one, lover of the other.
Designed by William Dudley and lit by Hugh Vanstone, this is the hottest box-office ticket in town and promises to be not just a commercial success but a critical one, given Hare's reputation — his Amy's View, which also starred Judi Dench, was an extraordinarily powerful play about the redemptive power of theatre and won rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.
Both Maggie Smith and Judi Dench are as successful on film as onstage. Judi Dench won an Oscar for her performance in Shakespeare in Love, and Maggie Smith plays a major character in the Harry Potter film series.
—By Paul Webb Theatrenow