Veteran actress and screen icon Diana Rigg has been confirmed for the role of Mrs Higgins in the upcoming Chichester transfer of Pygmalion, which comes to the West End's Garrick Theatre with previews from 12 May and official opening on May 25. Phillip Prowse designs and directs.
Dame Diana Rigg is returning to the spotlight 37 years after she last starred in the play. The Avengers star, 72, played the lead role of Eliza Doolittle in a 1974 production of George Bernard Shaw's classic at London's Albery Theatre, which later became the Noel Coward Theatre.
Diana Rigg’s Broadway credits include Abelard and Heloise, The Misanthrope and Medea, a West End transfer for which she won both the Evening Standard and Tony Awards for Best Actress. Other theater credits include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Mother Courage, Follies, Humble Boy, Suddenly Last Summer, Honour, The Cherry Orchard and Hay Fever. Her most famous screen credits include a starring role as Emma Peel in ‘60s British TV hit The Avengers, and the James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Diana Rigg will star alongside Rupert Everett as Higgins and in addition the cast includes Peter Eyre as Colonel Pickering, and Strictly Come Dancing winner Kara Tointon, who will make her West End debut as Eliza Doolittle. Rounding out the cast are Marty Cruickshank, Roberta Taylor and Peter Sandys Clarke.
There had been whispers that Broadway legend Angela Lansbury was in line for the part after flying into London for the recent Olivier Awards Ceremony. Lansbury presented Stephen Sondheim with a special award for his contribution to theatre and sent the rumour mill into overdrive, especially as she had already appeared alongside Rupert Everett in Michael Blakemore’s 2009 Broadway revival of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit.
Book Pygmalion tickets online now.
[posted by Louise, 28/03/2011]