Not once, but twice this year will theatregoers have the chance to witness one of the finest actors ever to tread the boards.
Imelda Staunton will be starring in the revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at London's Harold Pinter Theatre. Later on, she will be at the National in a revival of Sondheim’s Follies.
On stage she is known for her performances in hit musicals, notably Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd and most recently Gypsy. So what will audiences expect when seeing her in a straight play. Will they be missing out on something?
Having seen her in a straight play, Hampstead Theatre’s Good People, back in 2014, it is safe to say that audiences will be more than satisfied. In both musicals and plays, Staunton acts with every fibre of her being, drawing on great energy and putting it into everything she does. She is a consummate actor, able to portray a vast spectrum of emotions and carry the audience along with her. She is one of these actors that when you know they are in something, you know it is going to be good. In fact, in Staunton’s case, you know it is going to be brilliant.
Her last appearance on the London stage was as Mama Rose in the Chichester revival of Gypsy. The part called for a strong woman, able to hold her own and command the stage but at the same time add a layer of fragility and desperation to the character. Beg or borrow a copy of the soundtrack or the DVD of the production and see for yourself. It will give you a flavour of what to expect. A real tour de force.
Please, do not take my word for it. I implore you to go and see for yourself. You will not be disappointed.
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