A beautiful photographic memoir.
Behind the Scenes
“National treasure? I hate that. Too dusty, too in a cupboard, too behind the glass, too staid…What I love is being part of a company. On stage I am not trying to be myself, I am trying to be someone else, the more unlike me the better.”
From her first theatrical role as a teenager in York to her commanding performances as “M” in James Bond films Dame Judi Dench’s professional life has consisted of nonstop acting, leading to numerous accolades, including an Academy Award.
Behind the Scenes is fully updated and expanded edition of Dame Judi’s first photograph album Scenes from my Life, published in 2005. It is uniquely personal take on her life and brilliant career, showing off stage as well as on: in the wings, off sets, in dressing rooms and happily larking about. Beautifully illustrated with photographs from her own collections here are reflections and reminiscences on those who have mattered to her most – her family, fellow actors, directors and writers – communicated with the truth and insight of her acting.
As a fan of Dame Judi Dench’s work on the big and small screens I was fascinated to read what I would describe as a photographic memoir of her illustrious career peppered with anecdotes from her personal/family life. The images in this book, particularly of Dame Judi’s career on the stage are works of art; I loved the ones of her in costume of Cats (1980, p. 73), in Mother Courage and her Children (1984, p. 86), and the glamorous black and white image as Ophelia in Hamlet (1957, p.13) is iconic- the hair, the makeup, the “look”. I think even if you had never heard of Dame Judi Dench and flicked through this book you would be stunned by the art – this record speaks to the British Theatre, makeup and costume, fashion and culture from the 1950’s to today.
Beautifully narrated. Beautifully designed. A fantastic contemporary record of many great British stage productions peppered with Dame Judi’s personal anecdotes and images. A warm and personal read or a great coffee table book.