The Dresser

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The Dresser is a 1983 film which tells the story of an aging actor's personal assistant, who struggles to keep his charge's life together. The film is based on a screenplay by Ronald Harwood, in turn based on his successful 1980 West End and Broadway play of the same name.

The film was directed by Peter Yates and produced by Peter Yates and Ronald Harwood. The cinematography was by Kelvin Pike.

The film stars Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, Eileen Atkins, Michael Gough and Edward Fox.


Background and production


Ronald Harwood based the play on his experiences as dresser to distinguished English Shakespearean actor-manager Sir Donald Wolfit, who is the "Sir" in the play. The play was first presented on March 6, 1980, at The Royal Exchange Theatre and then opened at the Queen's Theatre in London April 30, 1980, with Freddie Jones as "Sir" and Tom Courtenay as Norman. The play was nominated for Best Play at the Laurence Olivier Awards for 1980.


The play opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on November 9, 1981 and ran for 200 performances, with Tom Courtenay repeating his performance as Norman and Paul Rogers as "Sir". The play was nominated for the 1982 Tony Award for Best Play, Best Actor in a Play (Tom Courtenay) and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play (Paul Rogers).


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