Judi Dench has played in multitudes of Shakespeare performances in the past 60 years. She has portrayed a wide variety of characters both on stage and screen. Her very first Shakespeare performance was as Titana in a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream at her New York boarding school in 1953 when she was 18. She reprised that role in a 1962 theatre, in 1968 in a stage performance recorded for film, and most recently in 2010, again on the stage.
Titania isn’t the only character from Midsummer Dench has portrayed, however. She also had roles at First Fairy (1957) and Hermia (1960), both on stage.
In this interview, Judi Dench talks about learning Shakespearean. She describes how director Peter Hall (of the 1968 performance) would tap out the rhythm of speech for the actors, and how that helped her understand his language.
Below is a list of the Shakespeare performances (stage and film), Judi Dench has been involved in as an actor or director.
Note: it was actually easier to copy the entire list and take out the non-Shakespeare performances from the list since she has been in so many!
|A Midsummer Night’s Dream||First Fairy|
|1959||As You Like It||Phebe|
|Romeo and Juliet||Juliet|
|A Midsummer Night’s Dream||Hermia|
|1962||A Midsummer Night’s Dream||Titiana|
|1968||The Winter’s Tale||Hermione/Perdita|
|1971||The Merchant of Venice||Portia|
|Much Ado About Nothing||Beatrice|
|The Comedy of Errors||Adriana|
|1979||Macbeth on stage (filmed)||Lady Macbeth|
|1987||Antony and Cleopatra||Cleopatra|
|1988||Much Ado About Nothing||As director|
|Henry V (Film)||Mistress Quickly|
|1993||Romeo and Juliet||As director|
|2003||All’s Well That Ends Well||The Countess|
|2010||A Midsummer Night’s Dream||Titania/Elizabeth I|
|2015||The Winter’s Tale||Paulina|