British Tony winner Angela Lansbury is returning across the pond to lead a spooky seance! The legendary 88-year-old star will channel ghosts in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, reprising the role of eccentric medium Madame Arcati, for which she won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play. Lansbury will appear alongside Charles Edwards as writer Charles Condomine and Janie Dee as his wife Ruth. Directed by Michael Blakemore, Blithe Spirit will begin previews March 1, 2014, with an official opening night on March 18 at the Gielgud Theatre.
Blithe Spirit tells the story of Charles (Edwards) and his wife Ruth (Dee), who invite their friends the Bradmans over for dinner and a seance with local clairvoyant Madame Arcati (Lansbury), whom they are convinced is a fake. The ghost of Charles’ first wife Elvira is summoned and overstays her welcome, creating a rift between Charles and his current wife Ruth. The feuding wives—one alive, one dead—plan to sabotage each other, but will they succeed? The play originally premiered in 1941 at the Manchester Opera House before transferring to the West End's Piccadilly Theatre.
Lansbury last appeared on Broadway in The Best Man. In addition to Blithe Spirit, she has won Tony Awards for Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, Mame and Dear World. Her additional Broadway credits include Hotel Paradiso, Taste of Honey, Anyone Can Whistle, The King and I, A Little Family Business, Deuce and A Little Night Music. She garnered Oscar nominations for her performances in Gaslight, The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Manchurian Candidate. The celebrated star of Murder, She Wrote, Lansbury’s additional film and TV credits include Beauty and the Beast, The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders, Nanny McPhee and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
Edwards’ London theater credits include This House, Twelfth Night, The Duchess of Malfi, All My Sons and Strange Interlude. His film and TV credits include Downton Abbey, Holy Flying Circus, Murder Rooms, Monarch of the Glen, Philomena, Batman Begins, Mansfield Park and An Ideal Husband.
Dee won an Olivier Award for Comic Potential and Carousel. Her additional London credits include Comic Potential, House and Garden, Dreams From a Summerhouse, Betrayal, Design For Living and Much Ado About Nothing. Her screen credits include Wild and Caffiend.