Dench, Jacobi to star in Allelujah!

Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi are to lead the cast of a new film based on Alan Bennett’s play set in the geriatric ward of a Yorkshire hospital, the Bethlehem, which is threatened with closure.

They are expected to star alongside Jennifer Saunders and Julia McKenzie in the film, which has been adapted by Call the Midwife creator Heidi Thomas.

Dench will play a former librarian, who is now a patient on the hospital’s Dusty Springfield ward. Jacobi will play a former headmaster who is a fellow patient.

According to Baz Bamigboye, Saunders is in talks to play a ward sister obsessed with the bladder control (or lack thereof) of her charges.

McKenzie will play a one-time child soprano, who once gloried in the name ‘the Pudsey Nightingale’.

No details on when it will begin filming.

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