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Blithe Spirit - full casting announced

Casting news

FULL casting has been announced for Michael Blakemore’s production of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, which runs at the Gielgud Theatre from March 18 (previews from March 1) to June 7, 2014.

Joining the already announced Angela Lansbury, Janie Dee and Charles Edwards are Jemima Rooper (as Elvira), Sandra Dickinson (Mrs Bradman), Simon Jones (Dr George Bradman) and Patsy Ferran (Edith).

Researching for his new novel, Charles Condomine (Edwards) invites the implausible medium Madame Arcati (Lansbury) to his house for a séance. Whilst consumed in a trance, Madame Arcati unwittingly summons the ghost of Charles’ dead wife Elvira. Appearing only to Charles, Elvira soon makes a play to reclaim her husband, much to the chagrin of Charles’ new wife Ruth (Dee).

One husband, two feuding wives and a whisper of mischief in the air – who will win in Coward’s sharp comedy of social mores?

Jemima Rooper’s most recent theatre credits include Rachel Crabbe in the National Theatre’s One Man, Two Guvnors, which she also performed on tour, in the West End and on Broadway; the acclaimed All My Sons alongside David Suchet and Zoe Wanamaker; The Power of Yes and Her Naked Skin (National Theatre) and Me and My Girl (Sheffield Crucible), for which she received a UK Theatre Award nomination.

She was recently seen on television playing Medusa in Atlantis. Her other screen credits include Lost in Austen, Hex, Poirot: The Third Girl, As If and The Railway Children (TV); One Chance, alongside James Corden, The F Word and The Black Dahlia (film).

Sandra Dickinson, whose career spans over 35 years, has previously appeared on stage in A Streetcar Named Desire, Not About Nightingales and Orpheus Descending, in which she has been directed by some of the UK’s most eminent theatre directors. No stranger to farce, she starred in two Ray Cooney productions in the West End as well as productions of Daisy Miller and A Woman of No Importance. Most recently, she played Miss Dinsmore/Dora Bailey in the hugely successful Singin’ in the Rain at Chichester Festival Theatre and in the West End.

On screen, she has appeared in classic TV series including The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Two Point Four Children and The Two Ronnies as well as the thought provoking If The Oil Runs Out for the BBC and the comedy horror movie Stagknight. Her most recent work has been in New Tricks, The White Van Man, Uncle, a new comedy series for the BBC and the film Tormented. She is also voicing the role of ‘Grandma Tracey’ in Thunderbirds for ITV and voices for The Amazing World Of Gumball.

Simon Jones reprises his role in Blithe Spirit, having played the part on Broadway alongside Angela Lansbury. His other theatre credits on Broadway include The Real Thing, Benefactors, also directed by Michael Blakemore, Getting Married, Private Lives opposite Joan Collins, School for Scandal, The Herbal Bed, Ring Round the Moon and Waiting in the Wings.

On television and radio Jones is best known for playing Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Lord Brideshead in the popular series Brideshead Revisited. His other extensive television credits include Blackadder, Cambridge Spies, Liberty! The American Revolution and Rock Follies. He has also appeared in the films Privates on Parade, Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, The Devil’s Own and Miracle on 34th Street.

Jones is also an award-winning narrator of audio books, with more than 65 credits to his name and was co-Artistic Director of TACT, an Off-Broadway production company, for 12 years. Blithe Spirit sees his return to the West End for the first time in 35 years.

Patsy Ferran trained at RADA where she has performed in many productions including High Society, In the Summer House, Twelfth Night, The Cherry Orchard and Three Sisters. Blithe Spirit marks her professional stage debut.

Read more about Blithe Spirit.

Craig Warner’s adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1950 thriller, Strangers on a Train, continues at the Gielgud Theatre until February 22, 2014.