Judi Dench, Samantha Bond and Ronald Pickup star in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast drama from 2000 - which features many of the original West End and Broadway stage cast.
Esme Allen is a middle-aged West End actor and is in control of her life: she’s financially secure and successful. However, Amy, her grown-up daughter is pregnant by Dominic, an ambitious media-man who believes that theatre is dead. Esme and Dominic, unsurprisingly, loathe each other. But this leaves Amy - whose ‘view’ is that love conquers all - right in the middle of things. Then Dominic’s star begins to rise, just as Esme starts to lose everything: the comforts of home, money. Even her daughter, Amy...Among the star cast in this recording are Dame Judi Dench, who won a Tony Award for her Broadway performance in ‘Amy’s View’ and Samantha Bond (BBC TV’s ‘Outnumbered’ and Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond films).The Classic Radio Theatre range presents notable radio productions of much-loved plays by some of the most renowned playwrights, and starring some of our finest actors.
©2000 David Hare (P)2011 AudioGO Ltd
Judy Dench's performance was magnetic. All the other actors did a wonderful job too and lifted the performance out of the "radio" and onto the stage. It comes to no surprise that these actors were a part of the original live-theater cast.
I have listened to loads of other radio theater and audio drama here on audible, such as the productions of L.A Theater works, BBC plays, as well as others. This is one of the best. As theater goes, maybe Tennessee Williams or Arthur Miller would be be a decent comparison (although they, apart from being American, are also different in many ways), given the social realistic setting. For some reason, Esme made me think of Blanche in "A Streetcar Named Desire".
The whole play was superb and each part brought new things to the story. If I need to pick a scene I suppose it might be when Amy comes back to see Esme in the early nineties. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but the way the scene questions individual responsibility in volatile economic times, or just in life in general, is just brilliant, and Dench is at the top her game here.
Yes it made me cry and it does not happen often.
I was positively surprised of Peter Hare's writing. Since I knew he was a political dramatist I would have expected not to like him too much, since I was never a big fan of political drama or fiction. Political commentary in fiction often comes at the expense of complexity and nuance, and becomes a bit too simplistic in my view. In short overtly political stuff is just boring. This is a great exception. As a matter of fact, the social background and setting gives the play even more pathos here, and even makes it seem more real and authentic than the plays of someone like Tom Stoppard, for instance. It reminds us that we are all political beings, after all.
"Political and social comment as entertainment"
'Amy's View' enjoyed very successful live theatre runs in both the West End and on Broadway and is a quietly domestic take on the big issues of the financial fallout from the Lloyds Names event which reverberates massively in the global financial issues of the 2000s. It covers a 20 year period from the 70s to 90s in the lives of a family involved in the media - and also has important things to say about the evergreen debate over the supposed death of the live theatre. Not only of the high standard and intellectual stimulation expected of David Hare but with brilliantly acted by the radio cast which includes Judi Dench. Highly recommended.
"Amy's View-great story!"
It was lovely to listen to the story and the conflict between Esme and Dominic and whose points of view would be upheld. It was extra special listening to Judi Dench and Samantha Bond. In fact the primary reason I bought it was because I heard that these two characters were staring in it.I adore Judi Dench!!
I liked Esme as she could see that Dominic was no good for Amy and wouldn't make her happy in the long run.Amy was chasing Dominic and it seemed that her sole purpose in life was trying to please him ,hold on to him and to humour him.Esme knew immediately that Amy was pregnant and would have preferred if Dominic had left Amy at that stage.I feel that Esme had a frustrating life, a fading actress, trying to earn money to make ends meet in a work place environment that she perhaps would have preferred to have left behind. She certainly hated the t.v. work. She also had a sad life as she was Evelyn's carer. which must have been a sad way to see someone disintegrate.
Love the voices of all the narrator's especially Judi and Samantha.
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