Maggie Smith and other Downton Abbey actors on stage

Tea Time Tidbit for the week of February 18, 2019

At the age of 84, Dame Maggie Smith will be making a return to the London stage after an absence of 12 years. It’s not just a small role either – but a one-woman show, based on the life of Brunhilde Pomsel.

Tea Time Tidbit

Dame Maggie Smith
Photo credit: MagentaGreen

Pomsel, who died in 2017 when she was 105 years old, was a personal secretary to Joseph Goebbels in Nazi Germany. The play, called A German Life, is drawn on testimony Pomsel gave shortly before her death. One of the lines Pomsel says in the play is "I had no idea what was going on. Or very little. No more than most people. So you can't make me feel guilty." Can’t you just imagine Dame Maggie delivering that line?!

The play opens April 12th and runs for five weeks at the Bridge Theatre in London. After which time, Dame Maggie will hopefully enjoy a well-deserved rest before she starts work on promoting the Downton Abbey film, which is due to come out in September.

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Penelope Wilton
Photo credit: Frankie Fouganthin

Dame Maggie isn’t the only Downton cast member appearing in the West End this spring. Lily James, who played Lady Rose, is currently appearing in the stage version of All About Eve. Penelope Wilton, who we know best as Isobel Crawley, will play the lead in a play called The Bay at Nice which runs the end of March through May, and Elizabeth McGovern is set to be in a play called The Starry Messenger with Matthew Broderick.

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Lily James
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

McGovern also has a film coming out soon. The Chaperone is a fictionalized account of a summer silent film star Louise Brooks spent in New York City. McGovern plays the middle-aged Kansas housewife who is hired to accompany the young beautiful teenager. It turns out to be a life-changing experience. Julian Fellowes wrote the screenplay for the film, which is based on Laura Moriarty’s best-selling novel.

Tea Time Tidbit

Elizabeth McGovern
Photo credit: Olivier Strecker

After it has opened in movie theatres, starting March 29th, The Chaperone will air on PBS.

To contact Heather:
E-mail: heather@mpt.org
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117

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Afternoon Tea is Maryland Public Television's weekday presentation of British programs.
Our host and Tea Lady is Heather Sanderson.
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