THE DRESSER is Peter Yates’ intriguing look behind the scenes of a touring stage company in war-torn England, based on Ronald Harwood’s play. Albert Finney stars as Sir, the ageing manager and lead actor of the troupe who begins to come undone from the pressure of touring in bombed-ravaged England. The lines between reality and drama begin to fade, leading Sir into melodramatic ramblings, soothed only by the aid of his devoted dresser, Norman (Tom Courtenay). Norman is part lover, brother, mother, and whipping boy to Sir’s mercurial moods, coaxing the egocentric actor through the necessary dressing-room preparations as he readies himself for his 227th performance of KING LEAR. Norman is the backstage glue that binds the troupe of eccentric actors together, calming bruised egos and demanding respect for their ageing and slightly delusional leader. In true theatrical form the show must go on, as the bombs continue to fall Sir leads his troupe through another command performance of Shakespeare’s tragedy. This beautifully filmed love letter to the theatre is a must for anyone who enjoys fine drama. The film features an outstanding ensemble cast, especially Tom Courtenay, who is a revelation as Norman, giving a deeply inspired and heartfelt performance.