What happens when four legends of British stage and screen get together? Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Eileen Atkins, and Dame Joan Plowright are among the most celebrated actresses of our time, with scores of iconic performances, decades of wisdom, and innumerable Oscars, Tonys, Emmys, and BAFTAs between them. They are also longtime friends who have invited you to join them for a weekend in the country as they catch up with one another, reminisce, and share their candid, delightfully irreverent thoughts on everything from art to aging to love to a life lived in the spotlight.
You can’t even begin to put a price tag on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hang out with them all, at the same table, at the same time, not to mention being the beneficiary of endless unguarded conversation. Bursting with devilish wit and whip-smart insights, Tea With The Dames is a no-plotpoint, no storyline priceless opportunity to spend time in the company of four all-time greats—up close and unfiltered.
In 2017, the Dames gathered at the Sussex country retreat of Dame (now Lady) Joan Plowright that she shared with her husband, Sir Laurence Olivier, until his death in 1989. Dame Joan, who is now blind, brought the friends together for a weekend of candid, irreverent and poignant conversation. No topic was left on the table with serious discussions of love and loss alongside lighter moments of discussing Dame Judi’s habit of nabbing all the plum roles and Dame Maggie’s less than enthusiastic reaction to becoming internationally famous thanks to her role as the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey.
Tea With the Dames is the first time the actresses/friends have ever appeared together on screen. The closest being when Dames Dench and Smith appeared in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its sequel. With a friendship that goes back over a half century in time, and a combined age hovering just south of 350 years, Dames Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Eileen Atkins and Joan Plowright are each in their seventh decade career defining performances on stage and on screen. Words used to describe each and every one of them include funny, smart, sharp, competitive, tearful, hilarious, savage, clever, caustic, cool, gorgeous, poignant, irreverent, iconic, old, and…unbelievably young. This is a must see for anyone and everyone. Period.
Tea with the Dames opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, September 21.