The Vote: Judi Dench to star with daughter in polling station play aired live on election night

Dench will share a stage with Finty Williams for the first time at the Donmar

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The Independent Culture

Dame Judi Dench is set to star with her daughter in a ground-breaking polling station play that will be aired live on TV on election night.

The English actress will share a stage with Finty Williams for the first time in The Vote, which runs at London’s Donmar Warehouse for two weeks.

Dench and Williams take on the roles of a mother and daughter going to cast their ballots during the last hour and a half before polls close.

Mark Gatiss, Catherine Tate and Timothy West will also appear in the non party-political production, due to be screened on More 4 at the exact time, from 8.30 to 10pm on Thursday 7 May.

Catherine Tate with Mark Gatiss and Nina Sosanya in new play The Vote

The play is the work of James Graham, whose recent work includes This House, set in the dying days of James Callaghan's Labour government, and Channel 4's Coalition, which examined the negotiations involved in the creation of the current government.

With The Vote, Graham hopes to illuminate the “diverse, diligent and often hilarious individuals” who turn the “unglamourous” settings of polling stations into “places where history is made”.


"Broadcast live to the nation on the night of the General Election, this is a unique opportunity for the Donmar to make a small theatre feel very big,” said Josie Rourke, director of The Vote and artistic director of the theatre.

"Some of the nation's greatest actors are coming together this election night to give theatre a seat at the table of a national event. Everyone involved is approaching this experiment with a sense of adventure."

She added: "This huge acting company will be portraying a 90-minute slice of our nation as it goes to the polls. The scale and scope of this incredible company of actors is going to make this a very special event.

"This is the first time Judi Dench has been back on the Donmar stage since 1976. To have her at the heart of this incredible company of actors makes this great event a total joy."