It has been announced that Jemima Rooper, Sandra Dickinson, Simon Jones and Patsy Ferran will join the previously announced Janie Dee, Charles Edwards and Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit which will begin previews at the Gielgud Theatre on 1st March 2014 prior to an official opening night on 18th March 2014. Michael Blakemore’s production will run until 7th June 2014.
This new production of Noël Coward’s sharp comedy of social mores is one of the most highly anticipated plays of 2014 as it sees Angela Lansbury return to the West End for the first time in more than 30 years. Lansbury previously starred in the Broadway production and her performance as Coward’s infamous clairvoyant earned her the 2009 Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress and became her fifth Tony Award. The Murder, She Wrote star was last seen on the London stage playing Gertrude in the National Theatre’s production of Hamlet in 1975
In order to observe a spiritualist first-hand for a planned novel, writer Charles Condomine (Charles Edwards) and wife Ruth (Janie Dee) invite friends the Bradmans (Simon Jones and Sandra Dickinson) to dinner and a séance with local clairvoyant Madame Arcati (Angela Lansbury), whom they are certain is a fake.
That all changes when the ghost of his first wife, Elvira (Jemima Rooper) is summoned - and overstays her welcome in the following days, causing a rift between Charles and his at first disbelieving and then jealous second wife. The feuding wives, ghost and flesh, hatch plot and counter plot to sabotage each other’s and Charles’ existence – but will they succeed?
Most recently Jemima Rooper (Elvira) created the role of Rachel Crabbe in One Man, Two Guvnors at the National Theatre. She went on to play the part on tour, in the West End and on Broadway. Sandra Dickinson (Mrs Bradman) has had an auspicious career acting on stage and screen for over 35 years. She recently played Miss Dinsmore/Dora Bailey in the hugely successful Singin’ in the Rain at Chichester Festival Theatre and in the West End. Simon Jones (Doctor George Bradman) is reprising the same role he played in the Broadway production of Blithe Spirit alongside Angela Lansbury whilst Patsy Ferran (Edith) is making her professional stage debut in the production.