The Dresser is a made-for-tv movie for television and is an adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play, adapted and directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal, Iris).
The Dresser also brings Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins together on screen for the first time in their acclaimed careers. It also marks Hopkins’ first appearance in a television drama in more than 20 years.
The Dresser tells the story of one fateful night, backstage in a small regional theatre during World War II as a troupe of touring actors stages a production of Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” Bombs are falling, sirens are wailing, the curtain is up in an hour but the actor/manager “Sir” (Hopkins) who is playing Lear is nowhere to be seen.
His dresser “Norman” (McKellen) must scramble to make sure the show goes on but will Sir turn up in time and if he does will he be able to perform that night?
The Dresser is a wickedly funny and deeply moving story of friendship and loyalty as Sir reflects on his lifelong accomplishments and seeks to reconcile his turbulent friendships with those in his employ before the final curtain.
It was first adapted for the screen by Harwood himself 32 years ago, in the 1983 Peter Yates film starring Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay. The current production reverts to Ronald Harwood’s original text as it was written for the stage.
Anthony Hopkins as Sir
Ian McKellen as Norman
Edward Fox as Thornton
Emily Watson as Her Ladyship
Annalisa Rossi as Goneril
Carl Sanderson as Cornwall
Helen Bradbury as Regan
Ian Conningham as Kent
John Ashton as Gloucester
Martin Chamberlain as Gentleman
Matthew Cottle as Albany
Sarah Lancashire as Madge
Tom Brooke as Oxenby/Edmond
Vanessa Kirby as Irene
key behind the scenes crew
Colin Callender as Executive Producer
Paul Brett as Executive Producer
Polly Hilly as Executive Producer
Richard Eyre as Writer/Director
Ronald Harwood as Play
Sonia Friedman as Executive Producer
Suzan Harrison as producer
Tim Smith as Executive Producer
one off drama based on a play by Ronald Harwood
30 May 2016
network and production companies
Starz – Altus Media – BBC Worldwide Productions – Playground Entertainment – Prescience – Sonia Friedman Productions