THE PLAY Amy's View

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The Independent Culture
Richard Eyre directs Judi Dench and Samantha Bond in David Hare's new play, a comedy drama about an actress, her daughter Amy and Eoin McCarthy as Amy's boyfriend. Set over the Thatcher and Major years, the portrait of the artist as an actress and mother takes in theatre and life, love and loss.

Paul Taylor saluted the play, particularly the second half "brilliantly paced both in the writing and in Eyre's moving, funny, richly rewarding production." "Judi Dench at the peak of her form ... the play vibrates with a passion both

public and private," gloried the Mail. "A major dramatist has written a strong, rich play, and a major actress has done him proud," agreed The Times. "Keeps widening the range of his view of this world until the focus grows confused," worried The Standard. "Arguments that might make an excellent newspaper article have been turned into less-than-satisfactory drama," grumbled the Telegraph. "The larger cultural debate never really takes off, largely because Hare's sympathies are all too evident," observed The Guardian.

Playing in rep at the Lyttelton, Royal National Theatre, London SE1 (0171-928 2252).

Any doubts about the play disappear in the light of Judi Dench's astonishingly funny, profound performance.