Joining Ian Redford playing Samuel Johnson, the poet, essayist and lexicographer and Russell Barr playing a host of characters from biographer James Boswell and painter Joshua Reynolds to King George II and even the housekeeper is Trudie Styler as Mrs Thrale, the society hostess who was Johnson's final, unrequited love.
Styler has said that she got the call from the director Max Stafford-Clark who said "I'm digging you out of retirement" and was instantly won over by the part of Mrs Thrale as she got to come on stage in a 18th century costume and provide the fireworks for the last 20 minutes. Describing her debut for the 6 performances at Dr Johnson's house on Fleet Street in the garrett where he laboured for 9 years on his dictionary in front of 46 people that was mostly critics, she says it was one of the most scariest moments of her life.
Trudie Styler is a graduate of Bristol Old Vic and performed with the Royal Shakespeare company during the 1980s.
The production will be part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the Traverse Theatre from 23rd to 28th August before transferring to the Arts Theatre. Trudie Styler will perform all dates except for 9th to 11th and 21st to 24th September.
The show is based on Boswell’s great biography and his journal of their tour to the Hebrides, adapted by Stafford-Clark and his two actors, Redford and Russell Barr.
Book A Dish of Tea with Dr Johnson tickets online now.
[posted by Louise, 22/06/2011]