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Dench “thrilled” to make swift stage return

Published 25 March 2009

Dame Judi Dench returned to the cast of Madame De Sade last night, having been forced to miss four performances with an ankle injury.

The seven-times Laurence Olivier Award-winning actress tripped on leaving the Wyndham’s theatre on Thursday evening. Doctors diagnosed a severely strained ankle and advised Dench not to put any weight on it. Until the sprain has completely healed, she will perform using a stick to aid her walking.

“I am thrilled to be returning to Madame De Sade,” Dench said in a statement, “and would like to thank everyone for their support during this time. We are having enormous fun as a company and I am looking forward to getting back to the role of Madame de Montreuil.”

Dench’s accident happened the day after Madame De Sade opened at the Wyndham’s theatre. The production, directed by Michael Grandage, is the third in the Donmar West End season, which has seen the small but highly influential Donmar Warehouse take up residence in a larger theatre to expand its repertoire of productions and the number of theatregoers that can see them.

Madame De Sade, which also stars Rosamund Pike and Frances Barber, tells the story of the infamous Marquis de Sade from the viewpoints of six women; his wife, her sister, her mother, the high class courtesan the Comtesse de Saint-Fond, the religious Baronesse de Simiane and the servant Charlotte. In its descriptions of the Marquis’s activities, it explores the strength of wifely devotion and how other aspects of womanhood and society could react to such shocking scandal.

The production follows Ivanov and Twelfth Night as part of the Donmar West End season which will conclude with the May opening of Hamlet, starring Jude Law.



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