Mrs Henderson Presents

Mrs Henderson Presents

Stephen Frears (2005)

98min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Director Stephen Frears hits a jollier and generally more upbeat tone here after the grittiness of 2002's Dirty Pretty Things with this benign - and only occasionally downbeat - period drama. Judi Dench stars as Laura Henderson, a wealthy widow with a gleeful sense of adventure, who buys a decrepit London theatre in 1937. With the help of impresario Vivian Van Damm (Bob Hoskins), she turns it into a money-spinner by showing nonstop vaudeville shows. When business slackens, the unlikely partners launch Britain's first all-nude revue, manoeuvring round censorship laws by ensuring the "artistically" lit, naked women stand stock-still. Dench delivers every one-liner with a tart but impish twinkle that's consistently winning, a cast-against-type Hoskins is surprisingly effective, too, while Pop Idol winner Will Young isn't at all bad in his film debut. However, the script tends to be in a perpetual panic to create drama, and, rather than invigorating the film, the musical numbers have the effect of grinding it to a halt.

Summary

A wealthy widow with time on her hands invests in an abandoned London theatre, and hires a veteran director to bring an original production to the stage. But when local competitors start to copy the show, the entrepreneurial owner skirts round censorship laws to stage a controversial nude revue. Fact-based comedy drama, with Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins, Christopher Guest and Will Young.

Cast & Crew

Mrs Laura Henderson Judi Dench
Vivian Van Damm Bob Hoskins
Bertie Will Young
Lord Cromer Christopher Guest
Maureen Kelly Reilly
Lady Conway Thelma Barlow
Doris Anna Brewster
Frances Rosalind Halstead
Vera Sarah Solemani
Peggy Natalia Tena
Gordon Toby Jones
Director Stephen Frears
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: PathéGuidance: Contains swearing and nudity.Available on: DVDReleased on: 25 Nov 2005
Comedy Drama