Photo credit: Maggie Smith in A German Life at the Bridge Theatre (Photo courtesy of Bridge Theatre)

‘A German Life’ starring Maggie Smith to be adapted into a film

Christopher Hampton's play ran at the Bridge Theatre in 2019.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

Following a sell-out engagement at the Bridge Theatre, Maggie Smith will reprise her acclaimed performance in the film adaptation of A German Life. Jonathan Kent will direct the movie, with a release date on the movie to be confirmed.

According to VarietyA German Life was set for a Broadway transfer but plans were changed. In an interview with Variety, Christopher Hampton said: "What with COVID, Maggie decided that she didn't really want to go back and do it again on stage, which was a great shame because it meant that an enormous number of people hadn't seen it and her great performance..."

What I've been doing is writing it as a screenplay about this woman in her retirement home in 2013 talking about her life. The film script was more difficult to write than the stage play. Sometimes she looks out the window and sees characters, but otherwise, it's all just her through the course of the day talking about her memories."

A German Life is based on the life of Brunhilde Pomsel, who eventually became Joseph Goebbels' secretary during World War Two. Enduring hardship in 1930s Berlin, she worked for a variety of people, including a Jewish insurance broker and the German Broadcasting Corporation.

In a five-star review of A German Life, Mark Shenton said: "[Smith] is one of the most animated on the London stage. Smith narrates... with quiet gravity and grace. Smith's own vocal inflections and mannerisms - her way of repeating certain words in a sentence, her natural pauses and conversational stumbles - perfectly match the character she is playing." 

Photo credit: Maggie Smith in A German Life at the Bridge Theatre (Photo courtesy of Bridge Theatre)


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