Legends in the Limelight

Dame Judi Dench by Kathy Burke

Whether you know her as M in the latest James Bond films, or as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it can certainly be agreed that Dench is one of the most influential British actresses of all time. She has earned this status with a career spanning over four decades, a career a young Dench accidentally fell into. Her journey started on the stage here in York, as a young actress in York Mystery Plays playing the Virgin Mary in 1957. After this Dench had contracts with a number of prestigious theatre companies, including Old Vic and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Almost fifty years since her debut on stage, Dench has returned with her latest show Peter and Alice, currently on in London.

David Tennant by Sarah Cattle

Although undoubtedly best known as TV’s tenth Doctor Who, it appears David Tennant is a jack of many dramatic trades. After studying at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Tennant’s stage debut was in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Tennant made his marked transition over to TV in Takin’ Over the Asylum in 1994, and continued to star in televised series of Casanova and Blackpool throughout the following decades. He became an established stage actor at the RSC, starting off with his role in As You Like It, moving on to star as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. Despite his successes in television and film, Tennant describes the stage as his “default way of being.”

Hugh Jackman by Rose Maxwell

It will perhaps come as no surprise to fans of Les Misérables that Hugh Jackman’s early career was firmly rooted in musical theatre. For those who know him better as Van Helsing and Wolverine, the image of a chap-wearing, all singing, all dancing Jackman belting out ‘Oh What A Beautiful Morning’ may be a little harder to imagine. With Jackman’s early roles in the theatres of Melbourne, he later received wide critical acclaim and soon became a fixture on the big screen. He has returned to Broadway several times since then, most notably in the highly acclaimed2003 production of The Boy From Oz, for which he won a Tony Award.

Jude Law by Zena Jarjis

Jude Law, best known for his role as Sherlock Holmes, began his acting career on stage in 1987’s The Ragged Child, an Edinburgh Fringe awarded play. His first big break on stage came when he played Foxtrot Darling in Philip Ridley’s The Fastest Clock in the Universe. He went on to star in Les Parents Terribles, claiming an Ian Charleson Award for Outstanding Newcomer. The play was transferred to Broadway in 1995, where Law starred opposite actors like Cynthia Nixon and Kathleen Turner. Law was then cast in Wilde, a biopic based on the life of Oscar Wilde, and has since become a household name.