TEA WITH THE DAMES is a Fantastic Gathering of Four Titans

Are you a fan of the theatre or the dames? The master women of the industry who have been in more productions than you have had lunches? If you answered yes then TEA WITH THE DAMES is an absolute MUST see for you. TEA WITH THE DAMES is quite simple – sit down for an afternoon with four of the greatest stage and screen actors of many generations. TEA WITH THE DAMES is also known as NOTHING LIKE A DAME overseas and releases this Thursday June 7th in Australia from the fine folks at Transmission Films. It runs for 84mins and is not yet rated but I would imagine an M rating, due to some occasional colourful language.


Tea with the Dames Judi Dench image
Dame Judi Dench




From time to time four old friends, all extraordinary actresses, meet up in the English countryside to gossip, to remember and to laugh. For once they let the cameras in…

TEA WITH THE DAMES is a unique celebration of the lives and careers of four of our most iconic actresses; Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Joan Plowright and Dame Maggie Smith. All four have gone from being fledgling actresses in the 1950s to acting royalty. They’ve watched each other’s careers grow and bloom and have celebrated life’s ups and downs together. TEA WITH THE DAMES invites you to spend time with these acting legends as they talk about their lives and their professional experiences across theatre, television and film.


Tea with the Dames Eileen Atkins image
Dame Eileen Atkins



Candid, often times hilarious, and pure raw, it is just fantastic to see these legends in a relaxed atmosphere reminiscing of time past and lives current. Director Roger Michell (NOTTING HILL, MY COUSIN RACHEL) gives us a relaxing afternoon with the Dames in Dame Joan’s wonderful country home. A home all the Dames have spent their lives visiting as they went from young actresses to top of the food chain. The bond of these women is incredible and their insight and knowledge of the times is spellbinding. It is good to see the real personalities of these women come forward beyond the characters we know and love.

I never knew one of my Goddesses, Dame Maggie Smith is a truly hysterical woman and also a little on the Diva side, but at her age and with her career she can be whoever the hell she wants. I didn’t realise Dame Judi has a bit of a potty mouth but it only made me love her so much more and sadly I did not know Dame Joan is now blind, with Judi trying snapping at her heels.

Michell presents an intimate view with a wonderful setting. The behind-the-scenes is in the documentary, it is so casual that a lot of scenes have crew in them, one poor photographer copping a little berating from Maggie for doing his job too well and taking too many pics.

Listening to these women talk reminds me of catching up with my school friends, friends I have known for years and years. Time flies, we all do our own things, but catch up sporadically and reminisce the good and funny times. It’s these times in life that we cherish.


Tea with the Dames Maggie Smith image
Dame Maggie Smith



Normally in this section I would discuss the performances of the actors in the films I am reviewing. This is a documentary so not much can be judged, and secondly, this stars four of the greatest actors of their time, the time before and time coming. What can be said besides bow and proclaim “we’re not worthy.” Dame Maggie and Dame Judi are two of my favourite people on film and I only wish I was privileged to have seen them on stage. I know a little less of Dame Eileen and Dame Joan besides recognising them from many films over the years. I hope to see them many more times before they are called to the great stage in the sky.


Tea with the Dames Joan Plowright image
Dame Joan Plowright



If you are a theatre lover and want to hear about some of the tales of the greats then TEA WITH THE DAMES is for you. Dames Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, Maggie Smith and Joan Plowright are all legends and I laughed endlessly watching these women just chat in a wonderful environment. Just marvellous.





 owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the  industry for 26yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.


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