Legendary actress Angela Lansbury, whose career spans over six decades best known for her turn as canny TV sleuth and Cabot Cove resident Jessica Fletcher, wants to perform in the West End.
Her numerous film and tv credits over the years include the part animation part live action Disney classic Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Manchurian Candidate and the voice of Mrs Potts, the singing teapot in 1991's much beloved Beauty And The Beast. She has received the best supporting actress Oscar nomination three times, won six Golden Globes and five Tony Awards. Her theatrical triumphs over the years include performances in Mame, Sweeney Todd and Gypsy. In 2009 she played Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit and joined Catherine Zeta-Jones onstage in the revival of A Little Night Music last year, both on Broadway.
Lansbury's desire to tread the London boards is very specific however - she is only looking for producers who are able to put on a play at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Her late mother, actress Moyna MacGill, once performed there. She told The Guardian "It nearly happened last year, and if that venue could be guaranteed I would come. I only want someone to make the offer." The actress was born in Poplar, London, to Irish born MacGill and lumber merchant and politician Edgar Lansbury. She grew up in the UK until her mother decided to move the family to America in the years following Lansbury father's death from stomach cancer. They settled in Hollywood, and she won her first film role at 18 as Ingrid Bergman's conniving maid in Gaslight, a role that earned her her first Academy Award nomination.
Her role as author-come-sleuth Jessica Fletcher saw Murder She wrote run for twelve successful seasons with 23 million US viewers in its prime. Towards the end of its run, bemused by its enduring popularity American broadcaster CBS moved its timeslot from its popular Sunday night position to Thursday evenings in an attempt to kill the show off. The move worked and the ratings plummeted as it was unable to compete with rival channel NBC's must-see TV line-up. Outraged loyal fans however led to a number of specials being commissioned in subsequent years, and the show still runs in syndication across the globe today.
Murder She Wrote: The Musical at the Theatre Royal Haymarket is a show London Theatre Direct would happily sell for. Come on producers - get your chequebooks out!
[posted by James, 09/05/2011]