The full cast has been announced for the London revival of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, starring British Tony winner Dame Angela Lansbury. She will be joined by Simon Jones as Doctor George Bradman, Jemima Rooper as Elvira, Sandra Dickinson as Mrs Bradman, Patsy Ferran as the maid and the previously reported Janie Dee and Charles Edwards. Directed by Michael Blakemore, the new production will begin performances on March 1 at the Gielgud Theatre, with opening night set for March 18.
Jones reprises his role in Blithe Spirit, having appeared in the show on Broadway alongside Lansbury. Other Great White Way credits include The Real Thing, Benefactors, Getting Married, Private Lives, School for Scandal, The Herbal Bed, Ring Round the Moon and Waiting in the Wings. His TV and film credits include The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Brideshead Revisited, Blackadder, Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life and Miracle on 34th Street.
Rooper’s theater credits include One Man, Two Guvnors, which she performed on Broadway, in the West End and on tour, All My Sons, Me and My Girl and The Power of Yes. Her TV and film credits include Atlantis, Lost in Austen, As If, The Railway Children, One Chance, The F Word and The Black Dahlia.
Dickinson’s theater credits include A Streetcar, Named Desire, Not About Nightingale, Orpheus Descending and Singin’ in the Rain. Her TV and film credits include The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, New Tricks and The White Van Man.
Ferran is making her professional stage debut. Her credits at RADA include High Society, In the Summer House, Twelfth Night, The Cherry Orchard and Three Sisters.
The creative team will include design by Simon Higlett and lighting design by Mark Jonathan
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 won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for the role of Arcati in the most recent Broadway revival.