International Concert Attractions and
Duncan C Weldon, Paul Elliott & Robert Fox present
MagGie Smith & Margaret Tyzack
in Alan Bennett’s
January 11, 2004
Dame Maggie Smith to perform on stage in Australia for the first time
Star of stage and screen Dame Maggie Smith makes her first appearance on the Australian stage in the production of Alan Bennett’s satirical masterpiece Talking Heads, commencing in Sydney on March 24 then touring to Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne.
Talking Heads features two of Bennett’s best-loved monologues in a double-bill: Dame Maggie will reprise her BAFTA-Award winning role as Susan, the wine-soaked vicar’s wife who takes refuge in the arms of an Indian grocer in "Bed Among the Lentils". Fellow British actress, Margaret Tyzack, will play Muriel, a genteel widow forced to face the ramifications of mismanagement of her late husband’s estate in "Soldiering On".
These poignant yet hilarious monologues brilliantly combine biting humour with pathos as Bennett’s seemingly ordinary characters relate the extraordinary circumstances in which they find themselves.
Dame Maggie Smith is one of the finest actors of her generation. Among the many accolades she has received in a long and illustrious career, have been Academy Awards for her performances in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and California Suite and nominations for her roles in Othello, Travels With My Aunt, A Room With a View and Gosford Park. She has also won seven
BAFTA awards, two Golden Globes and a Tony Award for Lettice and Lovage. Recent film appearances include Tea with Mussolini, and as Professor McGonagall in theHarry Potter films and the soon to-be-released Ladies in Lavender opposite Dame Judi Dench. Dame Maggie has been nominated for a 2004 Golden Globe Award for her performance in the television drama My House in Umbria.
Margaret Tyzack has appeared in numerous productions for the stage and for television including I Claudius, the original Forsythe Saga and more recently in the Young Indiana Jones series. Her film credits include Mrs. Dalloway, Prick Up Your Ears, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Stephen Fry’s Bright Young Things.
Tyzack received a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Lettice and Lovage opposite Maggie Smith and also appeared with Smithin the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Talking Heads.
Alan Bennett is one of Britain’s best-loved and most celebrated writers. His plays include Habeas Corpus, Kafka’s Dick, The Lady in the Van and Single Spies, for which he received an Olivier Award. He recieved an Academy Award nomination in 1994 for the screenplay adaptation of his stage play The Madness of George III. Bennett’s other screenwriting credits include A Private Function, The Secret Policeman’s Ball and Prick Up Your Ears.
Originally conceived for BBC television in 1987 as six monologues featuring brilliant performances from Dame Maggie, Patricia Routledge, Julie Walters and Alan Bennett among others, Talking Heads have become cult classics on television, radio and now the stage.
Talking Heads is directed by Anthony Page, director of the 2003 Broadway revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and is presented in Australia by International Concert Attractions, Duncan C. Weldon, Paul Elliott and Robert Fox.
"In Talking Heads, Alan Bennett's marvellous talent for satire is at its height"
Financial Times – UK
"His finest achievement - indeed masterpiece wouldn't be too strong a word"
Daily Telegraph – UK
Talking Heads National Tour
Sydney – Sydney Theatre
Dates: March 24 to April 18
Bookings: Sydney Theatre Box Office (02) 9250 1988 or Ticketek: (02) 9266 4800
Prices: $74 - $97
Perth – His Majesty’s Theatre
Dates: April 20 to April 25
Bookings: BOCS (08) 9484 1133
Prices: $63.70 - $97
Adelaide – Her Majesty’s Theatre
Dates: April 27 to May 1
Bookings: BASS 131 246
Prices: $74 - $97
Melbourne – Her Majesty’s Theatre
Dates: May 4 to May 16
Bookings: Ticketek: 132 849
Prices: $66 - $97
Maggie Smith graduated from comedy and revue to major tragic roles to become one of our greatest actresses.
She made her first appearance on stage with Oxford University Drama Society (OUDS) in 1952 but her professional debut was in New York in NEW FACES 1956 REVUE as a comedienne. She joined the Old Vic Company in 1959 appearing in AS YOU LIKE IT, RICHARD III, THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, and WHAT EVERY WOMAN KNOWS. She played Daisy in RHINOCEROS at The Strand in 1960 and received The Evening Standard's Best Actress Award of 1962 for her roles as Doreen in THE PRIVATE EAR and Belinda in THE PUBLIC EYE at the Globe Theatre.
She joined The National Theatre in 1963 and was seen at Chichester the same year playing Desdemona opposite Laurence Olivier's OTHELLO. She played Clea in BLACK COMEDY and the tilte part in MISS JULIE, for The National in 1965 - the double bill transferred to Chichester, where in 1969 she was also seen as Margery Pinchwife in THE COUNTRY WIFE. Again at The National, she played Mrs Sullen in THE BEAUX STRATEGEM (having already appeared in the part with The National Theatre Company in Los Angeles) and the title role in HEDDA GABLER in 1970. She received her second Variety Club's Best Actress Award for her portrayal of Mrs Millamant in THE WAY OF THE WORLD at Stratford, Ontario in 1976.
Maggie Smith is undoubtedly best known for her fine portrayal as Jean Brodie in THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE which gained her an Oscar in 1969 and the Society of Film and TV Arts Best Actress Award of 1970, A second Oscar followed in 1977 for her part in Neil Simon's CALIFORNIA SUITE (1978) while, back in the theatre, she was seen in NIGHT AND DAY in London and on Broadway, 1979/80, followed by the 1980 Stratford, Ontario Season, directed by Robin Phillips when she played Beatrice in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Madam Arkadina in THE SEAGULL, and the title role in the world premier of Edna O'Brien's VIRGINIA, repeating her success in London in VIRGINIA here at The Theatre Royal, Haymarket, again directed by Robin Phillips for which she again received The Standard Drama Award for Best Actress.
She was nominated for BAFTA'S Best Actress Award for her performance in the title role of the 1983 Granada TV's play MRS SILLY. She appeared in Alan Bennett's A PRIVATE FUNCTION in which she co-starred with Michael Palin.
In 1985 Miss Smith played a leading role in Merchant Ivory's production of A ROOM WITH A VIEW. She also appeared in INTERPRETERS at The Queen's Theatre with Edward Fox. The following year she played Jocasta in Cocteau's INFERNAL MACHINE, at The Lyric Hammersmith.
In 1987 she appeared in COMING IN TO LAND at The National Theatre and filmed THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE for Handmade Films. Miss Smith also appeared in LETTICE AND LOVAGE at The Globe Theatre which transferred to Broadway.
In January 1991 she appeared in HOOK for Tri-Star and SISTER ACT also. In November 1991 she starred in MEMENTO MORI for the BBC. Early in 1992 and also for the BBC she starred in SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER and later that year performed in THE SECRET GARDEN for Warner Bros.
In 1993, after completing a West End run playing Lady Bracknell in THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST, Miss Smith went straight into filming SISTER ACT II for Disney. She recently starred in Edward Albee's THREE TALL WOMEN at the Wyndham's Theatre in the West End, followed by the role of Queen Elizabeth in Ian McKellan's RICHARD III directed by Richard Loncraine. In 1996 she was in THE FIRST WIVES CLUB film for Paramount and the feature film 'WASHINGTON SQUARE' for Disney. She also performed in one of Alan Bennett's TALKING HEADS playlets at Comedy Theatre, London in 1996.
In the 1970 New Year's Honours List she received the CBE. In 1990 she received the DBS and is now Dame Maggie Smith. Miss Smith lives in West Sussex.
Maggie Smith made her debut with the Oxford University Drama Society (OUDS) as Viola in 1952 and since then has been awarded two Oscars, countless best actress awards and has received both the CBE and DBE.
Theatre includes: AS YOU LIKE IT, THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, RICHARD II and WHAT EVERY WOMAN KNOWS for the Old Vic Company. In 1963 she joined the National Theatre at the Old Vic and appeared in OTHELLO playing Desdemona opposite Laurence Olivier, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, MISS JULIE, THE RECRUITING OFFICER, HAY FEVER, THE MASTER BUILDER, BLACK COMEDY, THE BEAUX STRATEGEM, THREE SISTERS, HEDDA GABLER (Evening Standard Best Actress Award) and COMING IN TO LAND for Peter Hall at the RNT.
West End includes: SHARE MY LETTUCE, RHINOCEROS, THE REHEARSAL, THE PRIVATE EAR & THE PUBLIC EYE (Evening Standard Best Actress Award), MARY MARY (Variety Club Award for best Actress), PRIVATE LIVES (Variety Club Award for Best Actress), PETER PAN, NIGHT AND DAY, VIRGINIA (Evening Standard Drama Award for Best Actress), THE WAY OF THE WORLD (Evening Standard Drama Award for Best Actress), INTERPRETERS, and Jocasta in THE INFERNAL MACHINE, LETTICE & LOVAGE (Globe Theatre, London, Barrymore Theatre, Broadway - Tony Award for Best Actress), THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, two seasons of Edward Albee's THREE TALL WOMEN at Wyndham's Theatre (Evening Standard Drama Award for Best Actress), LADY IN THE VAN at Queen’s Theatre. In 2002 Maggie appeared in ‘Breath of Life’ at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, directed by Howard Davies.
In several seasons at Stratford Ontario, between 1976-80, she appeared in ANTHONY & CLEOPATRA, THE WAY OF THE WORLD, THREE SISTERS, THE GUARDSMAN, AS YOU LIKE IT, MACBETH, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, THE SEAGULL and VIRGINIA.
Film includes: OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR!, OTHELLO (Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress), THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE (Best Actress Oscar and Society of Film and TV Arts Best Actress Award), DEATH ON THE NILE, TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT (Oscar nomination for Best Actress), Neil Simon's CALIFORNIA SUITE (Oscar and Golden Globe), Alan Bennett's A PRIVATE FUNCTION (BAFTA, Golden Globe and Variety Club Awards and her fifth Oscar nomination), THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE (BAFTA Award), Steven Spielberg's HOOK, SISTER ACT, THE SECRET GARDEN, RICHARD III, FIRST WIVES CLUB, WASHINGTON SQUARE, TEA WITH MUSSOLINI, THE LAST SEPTEMBER, HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHERS STONE, GOSFORD PARK, THE DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD, HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS and MY HOUSE IN UMBRIA, HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN. Maggie has just completed filming LADIES IN LAVENDER, directed by Charles Dance.
Television includes: TALKING HEADS: BED AMONG THE LENTILS for BBC TV (Royal Television Society Award for Best Actress), the title role in Granada TV's play MRS SILLY (BAFTA Best Actress Award), MEMENTO MORI (BBC TV), SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER (BBC TV).
Dame Maggie was awarded the Hamburg Shakespeare Prize in 1991, is a fellow of the British Film Institute, was awarded a Silver BAFTA in 1993, is an Hon. DLitt of Cambridge University, and St. Andrews, and is a patron of the Jane Austen Society.
Margaret Tyzack trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Her award-winning career has earned her numerous accolades on both sides of the Atlantic.
Theatre includes: Tartuffe, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Olivier Best Actress Award), His Girl Friday, Royal National Theatre; Talking Heads - Soldiering On, Chichester Festival Theatre and Comedy Theatre; Indian Ink, An Inspector Calls, The Importance of Being Earnest, Aldwych Theatre; Lettice and Lovage (Variety Club of Great Britain Actress of the Year Award), Gielgud Theatre; Vivat! Vivat Regina! Piccadilly Theatre; Mornings at Seven, Westminster Theatre; The Family Reunion, The Lower Depths, Summerfolk, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, Titus Andronicus, All’s Well That Ends Well, Royal Shakespeare Company; Progress to the Park, The Ginger Man, Tom and Viv, Royal Court Theatre, Auntie & Me, Wyndham’s Theatre.
In New York: Lettice and Lovage (Tony Award) Barrymore Theatre, Broadway, The Family Reunion, Tom and Viv (Drama Desk Award Nomination), Summerfolk, All’s Well That Ends Well (Tony Nomination).
In Canada: Ghosts, Richard III, All’s Well That Ends Well, Stratford, Ontario.
Television includes: Heartbeat, Midsomer Murders, Dalziel and Pascoe, Our Mutual Friend, Family Money, Dead Water, The Chronicles of the Young Indiana Jones, Thacker, Miss Marple - Nemesis, A Silly Little Habit, Marriage, The Flowering Cherry, Amelia Edwards, Dear Octopus, The Silver Box, Waters of the Moon, Another Man’s Life, The Reason of Things, I Claudius, The Winters’s Tale, Cousin Bette (Emmy Award Nomination), The Firsts Chuchills (BAFTA Best Actress Award), The Forsyte Saga.
Films include: Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 and Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, Mrs Dalloway, Prick Up Your Ears, A Touch of Love, The Whisperers, Ring of Spies, The Legacy, The Wars, Mr Love, The Corsican Brothers, On the Other Side, The King’s Whore, Bright Young Things.
In 1970, Margaret was appointed OBE.