All's Well That Ends Well

Play by William Shakespeare. Helena, a doctor's daughter and now ward of the Countess' court, saves the life of the King using one of her father's secret prescriptions. Her reward - to take any man to be her husband. She chooses Bertram, the Countess' son. Appalled at having to marry a commoner, he declares he will never be hers until she obtains the ring he wears and is pregnant with his child, all of which is seemingly impossible...

1940: West End Revival at the Vaudeville Theatre

1953: West End Revival at the Old Vic Theatre

1968: West End Revival at the Aldwych Theatre

1975: London Revival at the Greenwich Theatre

1982: London Revival at the Barbican Theatre

1990: London Revival at the Barbican Theatre

1993: London Revival at the Barbican Pit Theatre

1997: London Revival at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

2004: West End London Revival at the Gielgud Theatre

2009: London Revival at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre

2011: London Revival at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

2012: London Revival at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

2018: London Revival at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse


1940: West End Revival

Opened 3 October 1940 (no previews), Closed 21 October 1940 at the Vaudeville Theatre

The cast included Barbara Everest as 'The Countess of Rossillion', Catherine Lacey as 'Helena', Peter Glenville as 'Bertram', Esme Percy as 'Parolles', Jerry Verno as 'Lavache', Ernest Milton as 'The King of France', and Robert Atkins as 'Lafeu'.

Directed by Robert Atkins.

A season of afternoon matinee performances.


1953: West End Revival

Opened 15 September 1953 (no previews), Closed 1 January 1954 (in repertory) at the Old Vic Theatre

The cast included Fay Compton as 'The Countess of Rossillion', Claire Bloom as 'Helena', John Neville as 'Bertram', Michael Horden as 'Parolles', Timothy Bateson as 'Lavache', and Laurence Hardy as 'The King of France'.

Directed by Michael Benthall, with designs by Osbert Lancaster, and music by Gordon Jacob.

Presented by the Old Vic Theatre Company.


1968: West End Revival

Opened 17 January 1968 (no previews), Closed 13 April 1968 (in repertory) at the Aldwych Theatre

The cast included Catherine Lacey as 'The Countess of Rossillion', Lynn Farleigh as 'Helena', Ian Richardson was 'Bertram' (up to Saturday 10 February 1968), Michael Jayston as 'Bertram' (from Wednesday 14 February 1968), Clive Swift as 'Parolles', Ian Hogg as 'Lavache', Sebastian Shaw as 'The King of France' (up to Saturday 10 February 1968), Clifford Rose as 'The King of France' (from Wednesday 14 February 1968), Helen Mirren as 'Diana' (up to Saturday 10 February 1968), and Caroline Hunt as 'Diana' (from Wednesday 14 February 1968).

Directed by John Barton, with designs by Timothy O'Brien, lighting by John Bradley, music by Derek Oldfield.

Presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company.


1975: London Revival

Previewed 9 July 1975, Opened 10 July 1975, Closed 25 September 1975 (in repertory) at the Greenwich Theatre

The cast included Sylvia Coleridge as 'The Countess of Rossillion', Penelope Wilton as 'Helena', David Horovitch as 'Bertram', David Firth as 'Parolles', David Kincaid as 'Lavache', and Joseph O'Connor as 'The King of France'.

Directed by Jonathan Miller, with sets by Patrick Robertson, costumes by Rosemary Vercoe, and lighting by Nick Chelton and Graham Phoenix.

Presented in repertory with Measure for Measure under the season title Bed Tricks.


1982: London Revival

Previewed 2 June 1982, Opened 5 July 1982, Closed 26 February 1983 (in repertory) at the Barbican Theatre

The cast included Peggy Ashcroft as 'The Countess of Rossillion', Harriet Walter as 'Helena', Philip Franks as 'Bertram', Stephen Moore as 'Parolles', Geoffrey Hutchings as 'Lavache', and John Franklyn-Robbins as 'The King of France'.

Directed by Trevor Nunn, with choreography by Geraldine Stephenson, sets by John Gunter, costumes by Lindy Hemming, lighting by Robert Bryan, and music by Guy Woolfenden.

Presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company.


1990: London Revival

Previewed 24 March 1990, Opened 30 March 1990, Closed 28 June 1990 (in repertory) at the Barbican Theatre

The cast included Gwen Watford as 'The Countess of Rossillion', Patricia Kerrigan as 'Helena', Paul Venables as 'Bertram', Bruce Alexander as 'Parolles', Geoffrey Hutchings as 'Lavache', and Hugh Ross as 'The King of France'.

Directed by Barry Kyle, with choreography by Beyhan Murphy, designs by Chris Dyer, lighting by Michael Calf, music by Jeremy Sams, and sound by Charles Horne.

Presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company.


1993: London Revival

Previewed 6 October 1993, Opened 12 October 1993, Closed 4 December 1993 (in repertory) at the Barbican Pit Theatre

The cast included Barbara Jefford as 'The Countess of Rossillion', Sophie Thompson as 'Helen', Toby Stephens as 'Bertram', Michael Siberry as 'Parolles', Anthony O'Donnell as 'Lavache', and Richard Johnson as 'The King of France'.

Directed by Peter Hall, with choreography by Geraldine Stephenson, designs by Jon Gunter, lighting by Rick Fisher and Geraint Pugh, music by Guy Woolfenden, and sound by Charles Horne and Sue Carter.

Presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company.


1997: London Revival

Previewed 10 June 1997, Opened 12 June 1997, Closed 3 September 1997 (in repertory) at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

The cast included Frances Cuka as 'The Countess of Rossillion', Isabel Pollen as 'Helena', Michael Higgs as 'Bertram', Nigel Planer as 'Parolles', Gavin Muir as 'Lavache', and Jonathan Elsom as 'The King of France'.

Directed by Helena Kaut-Howson, with designs by Claire Lyth, lighting by Jason Taylor, music by Cliff Masterson, and sound by Simon Whitehorn.


2004: West End London Revival

Previewed 18 February 2004, Opened 19 February 2004, Closed 8 May 2004 at the Gielgud Theatre

The Royal Shakespeare Company present's Shakepeare's All's Well That Ends Well starring Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench returns to the Royal Shakespeare Company to play the Countess. Without doubt one of this country's most distinguished actors, her RSC performances of Shakespeare's leading characters during the 1960's and 1970's are still regarded by many people today as definitive.

This production comes to London's West End following a repertory season at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon - previewed from 3 December 2003, opened on 11 December 2003, and closed on 7 February 2004 - with the same cast.

The cast featured Judi Dench as 'The Countess of Rossillion', Claudie Blakeley as 'Helena', Jamie Glover as 'Bertram', Guy Henry as 'Parolles', Mark Lambert as 'Lavache', Gary Waldhorn as 'The King of France', Aimee Cowen as 'Mariana', Arthur Kohn as 'Rynaldo', Brendan O'Hea as 'Morgan', Charles Kay as 'Lord Lafew', Colm Gormley as 'Gentleman Astringer', Jane Maud as 'Widow', Miles Richardson as 'Lords Dumaine', Sarah Jane Wolverson as 'Violenta', Shelley Conn as 'Diana', Chris Geere, Oliver Senton, and Tim Delap.

Directed by Gregory Doran, with choreography by Michael Ashcroft, sets by Stephen Brimson Lewis, costumes by Deirdre Clancy, lighting by Paul Pyant, music by Paul Englishby, and sound by Tim Oliver.

Judi Dench's London theatre Shakespeare credits include playing the roles of 'Cleopatra' in Peter Hall's revival of William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre in 1987; 'Lady Macbeth' in Trevor Nunn William Shakespeare's Macbeth at the Warehouse Theatre in 1977, and transfer to the Young Vic Theatre in 1978; 'Juliet' in Franco Zeffirelli's revival of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet at the Old Vic Theatre in 1960; 'Phebe' in Wendy Toye's revival of William Shakespeare's As You Like It at the Old Vic Theatre in 1959; and 'Juliet' in Margaret Webster's revival of William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure at the Old Vic Theatre in 1957.

During the last week of the West End run, at the evening performance on Thursday 6 May 2004, Judi Dench popped out of the stage door and went to the Gielgud Theatre next door, where the musical Les Miserables was being performed, made a 'surprise' unannounced (and very short!) guest appearance in the chorus. She was put up to the stunt by Sir Cameron Mackintosh, who owns both the theatres. Judi Dench said afterwards: "It was absolutely wonderful to be in Les Mis. Now I can look Trevor Nunn in the eye and say I've done it."

"It's always a special experience to see the great Dame Judi Dench tread the boards. But in this hauntingly beautiful production of Shakespeare's most awkward comedy she is the jewel in a glittering theatrical crown... Genuine belly laughs are provided by Guy Henry - whose hilarious portrayal of Bertram's cowardly and treacherous companion Parolles had the first-night crowd in hysterics. Director Gregory Doran's RSC production allows the strands of this difficult-to-categorise play to progress toward their less-than-tidy conclusion. A truly engrossing evening. It's great to have Dame Judi back in the West End." The Daily Mirror

"In Greg Doran's exquisite, tragicomic production of All's Well That Ends Well... it's the emotional truth and extraordinary eloquence of the performances that hold you spellbound... Judi Dench is truly radiant as the acutely sensitive, tender, wise Countess angered by her son's cheap behaviour, devastated by Helena's grief. No actor has such presence, none communicates so much by doing so little. Claudie Blakley's humiliated Helena weeps buckets but proves herself to be every inch a poised, plucky, passionate Shakespearean heroine and seizes the chance to trap Bertram into accepting her. This beautifully balanced production finds the humour of the play as well as its tragedy... For anyone who loves Dame Judi, Shakespeare, spotting the stars of future and acting of the highest quality, Doran's definitive production is not to be missed." The Mail on Sunday

"The strength of the production is pervasive. It lies in the verse-speaking, in the visual effects, in every character being given his due weight... It is important to stress the overall achievement, because otherwise it would be tempting to make too much of one particular performance. Judi Dench plays the Countess of Rossillion, a part described by Bernard Shaw as 'the most beautiful old woman's part ever written'. Dench's eloquence, both spoken and unspoken, makes that description seems perfectly reasonable. But she displays equal mastery in not pushing herself forward. There are splendid performances elsewhere, among them Gary Waldhorn as the King of France and Charles Kay as the sharp old courtier, Lafeu. Guy Henry is a little too likeable as the braggart Parolles, but wonderfully funny. Claudie Blakley's Helena is a heroine of the first order... And Jamie Glover's Bertram is as sympathetic as his lines allow." The Sunday Telegraph

All's Well That Ends Well in London at the Gielgud Theatre previewed from 18 February 2004, opened on 19 February 2004, and closed on 8 May 2004.


2009: London Revival

Previewed 19 May 2009, Opened 28 May 2009, Closed 30 September 2009 (in repertory) at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre

The cast featured Clare Higgins as 'The Countess of Rossillion', Michelle Terry as 'Helena', George Rainsford as 'Bertram', Conleth Hill as 'Parolles', Brendan O'Hea as 'Lavache', Oliver Ford Davies as 'The King of France', Cassie Atkinson as 'Violent'/'Isbel'/'Maudlin', Elliot Levey as 'First Lord Dumaine', Hasina Haque as 'Diana', Janet Henfrey as 'Widow', Jolyon Coy as 'Gentleman Astringer', Michael Mears as 'Rynaldo', Michael Thomas as 'Lord Lafew', Robert Hastie as 'First Soldier', Sioned Jones as 'Mariana', Tony Jayawardena as 'Second Lord Dumaine', Alex Felton, Ben Allen, Oliver Wilson, Rob Delaney, and Tom Padley.

Directed by Marianne Elliott, with choreography by Laila Diallo, designs by Rae Smith, projections by Germma Carrington and Jon Driscoll, lighting by Peter Mumford, music by Adam Cork, and sound by Ian Dickinson.


2011: London Revival

Previewed 27 April 2011, Opened 5 May 2011, Closed 21 August 2011 (in repertory) at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

The cast featured Janie Dee as 'The Countess of Rossillion', Ellie Piercy as 'Helena', Sam Crane as 'Bertram', James Gamon as 'Parolles', Colin Hurley as 'Lavache', Sam Cox as 'The King of France', Ben Deery as 'First Soldier', John Cummins as 'Duke of Florence'/'Rinaldo'/'Gentleman'/'Second Soldier', Mary Doherty as 'Mariana', Michael Bertenshaw as 'Lafew', Naomi Cranston as 'Diana', Peter Hamilton-Dyer as 'First Lord', Sophie Duval as 'Widow', Will Featherstone as 'Second Lord', Laura Darrell, Nicholas Delvalle, and Luke McConnell.

Directed by John Dove, and choreography by Sian Williams, designs by Michael Taylor, and music by William Lyons.


2012: London Revival

Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 May 2012 at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Performed in Gujarati and adapted by Mihir Buhta.

The cast featured Meenal Patel as 'Kunti' (Countess of Roussillon), Mansi Parekh as 'Heli' (Helena), Chirag Vora as 'Bharatram' (Bertram), Satchit Puranik as 'Parbat' (Parolles), Utkarsh Mazumdar as 'Gokuldas Gandhi' (King of France), Ajay Jairam as 'Pandurang' (Servant), Archan Trivedi as 'Laffabhai' (Lafeu), Natasha Singh as 'Thuwang' (Widow Capilet), and Nishi Doshi as 'Alkini' (Diana).

Directed by Sunil Shanbag, with choreography by Purva Naresh, sets by Nayantara Kotian, and costumes by Maxima Basu.

Performed for two performanaces - Wednesday afternoon matinee, and Thursday evening - as part of the 2012 International Globe-to-Globe Season.


2018: London Revival

Previewed 11 January 2018, Opened 17 January 2018, Closed 3 March 2018 (in repertory) at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

The cast featured Martina Laird as 'The Countess of Roussillon', Ellora Torchia as 'Helena', Will Merrick as 'Bertram', Imogen Doel as 'Paroles', Hannah Ringham as 'Clown', Nigel Cooke as 'The King of France', Buchan Lennon as 'George Dumaine', Louise Mai Newberry as 'Mariana', Paige Carter as 'Diana', Rob Pickavance as 'Lafeu', and Shaun Mason as 'Edward Dumaine'.

Directed by Caroline Byrne, with choreography by Eddie Kay, designs by Colin Richmond, lighting (candles) by Ben Ormerod, and music by Theo Vidgen.