MISSING - And Furthermore

by Judi Dench

Paperback, 2012




St. Martin's Griffin (2012), Edition: Reprint, 288 pages


From the moment Judi Dench appeared as a teenager in the York Mystery Plays it was clear that acting would be her career. Trained at London's Central School of Speech and Drama it was her performance in her twenties as Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli's memorable Old Vic production that turned her into a star. But it is her role as 'M' in six James Bond films beginning with Golden Eye in 1995 that has gained her worldwide recognition. This book is, however, much more than a career record. Her marriage (Michael Williams died in 2001), their daughter, and her impish sense of humour contribute vividly to her account of more than half a century as Britain's best-loved actress.


(71 ratings; 3.4)

Media reviews

What you will find in this light, readable, amusing book are the ins and outs of Dame Judi's sense of humour. The joking, one suspects, is partly a safety curtain – as well as a short cut to camaraderie and a way to avoid any obligation to be serious. There are jests galore. She and Anna Massey
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pretend to be in an invented film, The Crew, about female lorry drivers (they elaborate by getting special T-shirts printed) to make their male co-stars jealous. Vinegar gets added to stage wine, in playful vengeance, with predictable consequences. Dame Judi and Tim Pigott-Smith, at unexpected moments, astound each other with the – usually inconvenient – presentation of a black glove. The prankfest never lets up. You are left in no doubt that Dame Judi loves to have fun, that laughter is her oxygen. But And Furthermore could have gone further. It could have been more serious. She has been a star so long that there is a pressure on space: most of her shows (written about chronologically) get only a couple of paragraphs. One often wants more. At least she sneaks in some illuminating directors' notes. Peter Hall advises: "Don't think that you've got to come in and play all of Cleopatra in the first scene. All you do is play aspects of her in all the scenes, and by the end hopefully you'll have the whole character." Hal Prince, as she tries to sing Sally Bowles in Cabaret, urges: "If you can't get it, act that you can't get it."
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User reviews

LibraryThing member fglass
Not very different from her early biographies. Disappointing!
LibraryThing member picardyrose
Pretty much a list of every play she was in and who else was cast.
LibraryThing member lycomayflower
In a preface, Dench describes this book as a sort of "filling in" of gaps from her biography and other books by John Miller. And it reads very much that way, sort of hopping from thing to thing (largely in chronological order, though) and not spending much time on setting things up. This made it a
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bit hard to follow for me, as I have not read the biography, nor do I know much about Dench's life. So, I quickly decided to hop through the book myself, reading only those bits referring to things I was already interested in (mostly As Time Goes By and her later film work). From what I can see here, I think the full biography would be well worth a read someday, and, for anyone who has already read that or is otherwise well up on Dench's career, this would probably do very well at what it's designed to do: "fill in" in Dench's own words. The book also contains a good number of pictures, both black and white and color, which were great fun to look through.
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LibraryThing member tamora
Don't read this expecting an autobiography. It's more like Judi sitting down with you to tell you about some of the memories she has of her life in the theater.
LibraryThing member thehistorychic
Bought on Audible

What I Loved: Dame Judi Dench is one of those rare famous people that just don't strike you as famous at all. All of her stories reflect her beautiful personality and sparkling humor. She shares stories about her theater plays (of which you can clearly tell is her acting love and
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something she plans on doing until she cannot anymore), her time in movies, and her family. The best parts are how she speaks so lovingly of friends and family that she has had many years. She forms real bonds with people she works with and many of them have become life long friends. When she speaks of her family, you can tell her love overflowing and that makes you smile! Judi has really lead a very rich and wonderful life that I am so glad that she has shared with us.

What I Liked: She told stories about people you knew (Maggie Smith *squee*) and even people you did not. She brought you into the story so that you smiled when she smiled and got tears in your eyes during the sadder parts.

Complaints: None

Audiobook Review: Judi Dench does the forward of the audiobook then turns it over to her friend Samantha Bond. She does a wonderful job of telling Judi's stories! So much so that after a while you forget that you aren't listening to Judi herself.

Why I Gave it a 4: This is a wonderful addition to books about Judi Dench and I love that this one was from her. I wanted it to be longer but she covered so much of her career that she had to be exhausted at the end.

Who I would recommend this too: Fans of Dame Judi Dench
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LibraryThing member purlewe
I love Judi Dench. I find her facinating. Reading about her life in theater was really facinating. Her phrases and rhythm of speech shine thru.
LibraryThing member sriemann
Since I love Dame Judi and almost everything she does on film or tv (I've only seen one play that she was in, so I don't want to say I love all the theatre work), it was a no-brainer that I would really enjoy a book in her voice. I also appreciated all of the color and bw pictures from her various
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roles. Definite must for any of her fans.
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LibraryThing member Meredy
Six-word review: British star's light-hearted theatrical autobiography.

Extended review:

This anecdotal history of the career of one of Britain's brightest and most enduring stars has the warmth and intimacy of a backstage chat over tea in the interval between the matinee and the evening curtain.

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Judi Dench relates story after story of incidents and experiences during her ongoing performing career on stage, on television, and in film, including many revealing glimpses of her theatrical colleagues, associates, and dear friends. Very much a part of the episodes are her emotional responses to them, and these she conveys with a feeling of candor and comfortable self-awareness. Even when writing about setbacks, disappointments, loss, and grief, she keeps the drama low, engaging our smiles and sympathies without overwhelming us. Laughter, delight, and gratitude prevail.

However, she does not intend to share everything with the public: "I want to keep a quiet portion inside that is my own business, and not anybody else's." (page 238)

I like the way Judi makes us feel we know her, even if we really don't. She's a great actress and knows what it takes to enchant an audience. Her pleasure in her craft and artistry is central to her success, and her thoroughgoing enjoyment of her life's work comes through on every page.

Credit is due as well to John Miller ("as told to"). Without knowing to what extent his hand is in the writing of this book, we can only infer that he played more than a minor role in bringing it to print.

There is also a generous assortment of photographs, many on glossy inset pages for high-quality reproduction.

I've enjoyed Judi Dench's performances in everything I've seen her do over many years. Reading this entertaining account of her acting life adds to my appreciation of her work.
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LibraryThing member camelama
Great read. It's like sitting down with Judi and a few pints, gossiping about the world of the stage performers. Nothing earth-shattering, but as someone who loves the every day details of other people's lives, this was a lovely glimpse into her world.


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Physical description

288 p.; 6.14 inches


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