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  • Published: 7 November 2023
  • ISBN: 9780241638200
  • Imprint: Michael Joseph
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $36.99


The Man Who Pays The Rent

Britain's greatest Shakespearean actor reveals her secrets in a series of intimate conversations

Taking a curtain call with a live snake in her wig; cavorting naked through the countryside painted green; acting opposite a child with a pumpkin on his head... these are just a few things Dame Judi Dench has done in the name of Shakespeare.

In this book, Judi opens up about every Shakespearean role she has played throughout her seven-decade career. In a series of conversations with actor/director Brendan O'Hea, she guides us through Shakespeare's plays with incisive clarity, revealing the secrets behind her rehearsal process and vignettes of her creative partnerships, all told with her mischievous sense of humour and a peppering of hilarious anecdotes.

  • Published: 7 November 2023
  • ISBN: 9780241638200
  • Imprint: Michael Joseph
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $36.99

Praise for Shakespeare

A magical love letter to Shakespeare

Kenneth Branagh

A wonderful ode to the bard


Riveting, revealing and witty

Gazette and Herald

An utterly delightful book…there can be few higher pleasures in civilised life than hearing Judi Dench recite the poetry of Shakespeare. What emerges is a wealth of unpretentious horse sense – Shakespeare from a great actor’s perspective – that repeatedly strikes to the heart of the matter with a sharp instinctive intelligence that puts fancy-pants literary critics to shame


The book is pure enchantment. It swirls and dances with brilliance and mischief, so forget traditional Shakespearean criticism and analysis. Sack the Eng. Lit. professors. As never before, this book brings the subject to wild, authentic life.

Daily Mail

It’s a mark of Dench’s impish genius and O’Hea’s deftness that it genuinely feels like you’re sitting at her kitchen table with her. It’s companionable and compelling – if you love Judi Dench or Shakespeare (and most of us do), look no further


This is a gloriously entertaining tour through the canon in the company of perhaps the most experienced living Shakespearean actor; reading it feels like a chat with an old friend.


A wonderful mixture of appreciation and anecdote

Financial Times, Books of the Year

Wonderfully inspiring. A delightful spell in the company of one of our greatest and most thoughtful actresses

Daily Mail, Books of the Year

Gorgeous flows of recollection

Literary Review

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