Tony and Oscar winner Maggie Smith, who amassed a new legion of fans with the long-running TV series Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter film franchise, returned 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 officially opened April 12 at London's Bridge Theatre.
Read reviews of the production below:
The staging also has sets and costumes by Anna Fleischle, lighting by Jon Clark, and sound design by Paul Groothuis.
Pomsel 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 Oscars, five BAFTAs, four Emmys, nine Evening Standard Awards, and a Tony. She was made DBE in 1990 and a Companion of Honour in 2014.