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Felicty Kendal returns to stage

At the age of nine months, Felicity Kendal made her first stage appearance in her family’s travelling theatre in India. Her Prospero-like father produced Shakespeare, and the whole family was caught up in madcap attempts to survive and escape financial ruin in India.

With desperate verve, Felicity broke with her family before she was twenty, and steered to the shores of Britain. A stranger in a strange land, she managed to make her way on stage and into television in the popular comedy The Good Life and to start a family. She acted in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing (1982), Hapgood (1988), Arcadia (1993), and Indian Ink (1995. Along the way she survived several personal tragedies.

Her book White Cargo weaves her memories of family and India with her professional career and her difficult father’s long dying. It is an autobiography she carries with her, like a rich cargo, as once again she mounts the stage, this time playing Esme in David Hare’s revival of Amy's View. The play opens at the Garrick, London WC2 (0870 890 1104) next Monday. Felicity happily says she is playing a role to die for – an outrageously awful mother.

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