Tony and Oscar winner Maggie Smith, who amassed a new legion of fans with the long-running TV series Downton Abbey, return to the stage April 6 for the first time in 12 years.
Smith stars in Christopher Hampton's solo show A German Life, drawn from the life and testimony of Brunhilde Pomsel (1911–2017).
Directed by Jonathan Kent, the production will officially open April 12 at London's Bridge Theatre. Performances will continue through May 11.
The play also has designs by Anna Fleischle, lighting by Jon Clark, and sound by Paul Groothuis.
Pomsel’s life spanned the 20th century. She struggled to make ends meet as a secretary in Berlin during the 1930s; her many employers included a Jewish insurance broker, the German Broadcasting Corporation and, eventually, Joseph Goebbels. Hampton’s play is drawn from the testimony Pomsel gave when she finally broke her silence (shortly before she died) to a group of Austrian filmmakers, and from their documentary A German Life.
Smith's many awards include two Academy Awards, five BAFTAs, four Emmys, nine Evening Standard Awards, and a Tony. She was made DBE in 1990 and a Companion of Honour in 2014.
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(Updated April 6, 2019)