Staff Pick - And Furthermore by Judi Dench

Staff Pick - And Furthermore by Judi Dench And Furthermore (M) by Judi Dench is a pleasant and quick read by an engaging actress with a long and varied career. In North America, it is probably safe to say, that Judi Dench is mostly known for her movie roles and television series. However theatre is where her heart lies and this is the main focus here. This memoir is intended to be a follow-up to John Miller's 1998 With A Crack in her Voice. It's chatty, anecdotal and doesn't necessarily follow strict chronology. Dench states that she doesn't have the time or inclination to write a memoir herself, so these stories are "told to" John Miller, however, it's so easy to forget this as you are reading as the voice seems so authentic.

Staff Pick - And Furthermore by Judi Dench This is a gentle, non-gossipy book that would be enjoyed by theatre buffs and Dame Judi Dench fans. It is her life as defined by the roles she chose to undertake. She obviously loves her work and it is hard not to get caught up in her enthusiasm. Her detailed memories of her countless plays and films is phenomenal. She highly values her privacy and only by chance reveals her character. It is ironic that despite her desire for privacy, she confesses that she herself is nosy. She talks about being unable to sleep when there is activity in the house as she always must know what is going on. This reminded me so much of her character Jean Hardcastle in As Time Goes By (M). She is a serious actress, who can be prickly and defensive while still showing herself to be mischievous and appreciating a sense of humour. She tells the story of writing to one critic, who she believed judged her unfairly, calling him a "complete ----". He wrote back to that he was not a "COMPLETE ----" as he loves his wife and is kind to his cat.
Judi Dench has been named a Dame of the British Empire, and has been awarded an Oscar, a Tony, and multiple Golden Globes and BAFTAS and is also a fine story teller.
Dench speaks with love and respect about fellow actors Maggie Smith (M), Peggy Ashcroft, Kenneth Branagh (M) and John Gielgud (M).
John G.: the authorised biography of John Gielgud (M) by Sheridan Morley.

Staff Pick - And Furthermore by Judi Dench
Part of the generation of great Shakespearean actors that included Michael Redgrave, Ralph Richardson, and Laurence Olivier, Gielgud outlived them all--to the very end performing in movies, reading Shakespeare on the radio, and hawking California wines on TV--to die at 96, on the verge of the new millennium. Ironically, he was a late bloomer. Early stage appearances in the 1920s were awkward and unsure, as were his first attempts in the movies. But Gielgud, driven by love of the craft and his famous "Terry genes"(nineteenth-century star Ellen Terry was his great aunt), eventually mastered his art, and watching him grow into the giant he became is one pleasure afforded by Morley's rich, lively biography. Morley is passionate enough to be consistently readable, and objective enough to recount such seamier matters as Gielgud's notorious 1950s arrest for sexually soliciting an undercover cop. Oh, the book could have been better edited, for it is somewhat repetitious and chronologically sloppy. Still, it is hard to argue with any 500-pager that maintains its momentum and never bores." Booklist


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