Post Script: Judi – Behind The Scenes – Judi Dench

A beautiful photographic memoir.


Judi - Behind The Scenes

Judi – Behind The Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Judi Dench

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780297608844



“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.


My View:

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.




10 thoughts on “Post Script: Judi – Behind The Scenes – Judi Dench

  1. It sure sounds that way, Carol! So nice when books like that go ‘beneath the surface’ and give a good perspective on a person.

    • Doesnt she look great – you should see some of the photos of her in stage costume – fantastic!! A great photographic diary – of her life and the culture of the times. I didn’t really know anything about her stage career – which is so amazing.

    • The photos are amazing Deb – you will love this book. I didn’t really know much of Dame Judi until I saw As Time Goes By and Marigold Hotel – but she has had such a wonderful career, most I was unaware of until I read the book. Worth having a look at.

  2. I’ll make you jealous by saying I have seen her live in the theatre – she was really a stage actress most of her career, she only went into films quite late on. I saw her in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music – she was absolutely brilliant. Great stage presence. She sang Send in the Clowns, and although she’s really not much of a singer, the sheer emotion she brought to it had the whole audience on their feet for a standing ovation. If you can stand Shakespeare, you should try to see her performance as Lady Macbeth on DVD with Ian McKellen as Macbeth – it’s the best Macbeth I’ve ever seen…

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