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Jennifer Saunders and Rupert Everett announced in opening plays of Theatre Royal Bath’s Summer Season by Artistic Director Jonathan Church

Jonathan Church

Jonathan Church, Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Bath’s Summer Season, today announced the opening shows for its 2019 programme which will see much-loved British comedian Jennifer Saunders star as Madame Arcati in Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit directed by Richard Eyre, and Rupert Everett making his directorial stage debut in Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in which he will also play the title role in a new version by David HareBlithe Spirit will run from 13 June to 6 July with opening night for press on 19 June, followed by Uncle Vanya from 18 July to 3 August with opening night for press on 24 July, both in the Main House. Further casting and the full summer programme will be announced in due course.

Theatre Royal Bath is also delighted to announce it is extending its tenure with Jonathan Church as Artistic Director of the Summer Season by a further three years through to 2022. It follows Jonathan Church’s inaugural summer season in 2017 and a hugely successful 2018 programme with two West End transfers including the critically acclaimed production of Arthur Miller’s The Price currently playing at Wyndham’s Theatre, and Switzerland at the Ambassadors Theatre.

BLITHE SPIRIT
Thursday 13 June – Saturday 6 July
Press night: Wednesday 19 June

Jennifer Saunders, one of the UK’s most popular comic actors, makes her Theatre Royal Bath debut as the preposterous clairvoyant Madame Arcati in Noël Coward’s classic comedyBlithe Spirit. The production brings together a distinguished and multi-award-winning creative team, directed by former National Theatre director Richard Eyre with design byAnthony Ward and lighting by Howard HarrisonLisa Dillon will also star as Ruth Condomine, with further casting to be announced.

Written in 1941, Coward’s inventive, witty and meticulously engineered comedy proved light relief and a popular distraction at the height of World War II when it was first staged. The show had a record-breaking run in the West End and on Broadway and remains one of the playwright’s most popular works.

Novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth are literally haunted by a past relationship when an eccentric medium inadvertently conjures up the ghost of his first wife, Elvira, at a séance. When she appears, visible only to Charles, and determined to sabotage his current marriage, life – and the afterlife – get complicated.

Jennifer Saunders is well known as one half of the comedy duo French and Saunders, for which she and Dawn French received a BAFTA fellowship in 2009, and for the hit comedy series and subsequent film, Absolutely Fabulous, which she also wrote and starred in. She has received numerous awards including two Emmys, five BAFTAs and four British Comedy Awards. Other recent credits include Lady Windermere’s Fan (West End) and the BBC series Jam and Jerusalem.

Lisa Dillon starred as Mary Smith in the BBC series Cranford. Her stage credits include Richard Eyre’s Private Lives in the West End, the RSC’s The Roaring Girl and The Taming of the Shrew, A Flea in Her Ear and Design for Living at the Old Vic and The Knot of the Heart and When the Rain Stops Falling at the Almeida.

Noël Coward was an English playwright, composer, actor, producer and director. His dramas include Hay Fever and Private Lives. For filmhe wrote and directed the Academy Award-winning In Which We Serve and the screenplay for Brief Encounter.

Richard Eyre was at the helm of the National Theatre for 10 years and is the winner of five Olivier Awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award. His numerous hugely-acclaimed productions include Guys and DollsThe Invention of Love and Private Lives. His award-winning film and television work includes Iris, Tumbledown and The Children Act.

Anthony Ward has designed numerous productions including the Tony Award-winning Mary Stuart, the Olivier Award-winning Oklahoma! and What’s on Stage Award winner Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Howard Harrison is a two-times Olivier Award-winning lighting designer whose recent works include Impossible and Mamma Mia! (London, Broadway and worldwide).

Blithe Spirit is presented by arrangement with Lee Dean.

 

UNCLE VANYA
Thursday 18 July – Saturday 3 August
Press Night: Wednesday 24 July

Rupert Everett returns to Theatre Royal Bath where he last appeared in The Judas Kiss in 2012 and which went on to transfer to the West End, and following recent critical acclaim as Oscar Wilde in The Happy Prince which he also wrote and directed. Everett will direct his first stage play and lead the cast in Anton Chekhov’s theatrical masterpiece Uncle Vanya, a playful story of unrequited love, loss and misplaced dreams, in a new version by the playwright and screenwriter David Hare.

It’s late summer, at the close of the nineteenth century. In the heart of the Russian countryside, Vanya and his niece Sonya have worked for years to manage the ramshackle estate on behalf of his brother-in-law, a retired professor. When the professor arrives with his stunningly beautiful young wife and announces his plan to sell the estate, all their lives are thrown into turmoil.

Rupert Everett rose to fame in Another Country which earned him his first BAFTA nomination. Since then he has played many leading roles including in the multi-award-winning filmMy Best Friend’s Wedding, The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband, Dance With A Stranger, The Madness of King George and St Trinian’s. His stage credits include Blithe Spirit on Broadway and Pygmalion and The Judas Kiss in the West End.

Anton Chekhov was a leading playwright and author of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is regarded as one of the most influential writers of the Russian realist school. His plays include The Seagull, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard.

David Hare’s award-winning plays include Racing Demon, Plenty, Skylight, Amy’s View and The Judas Kiss. He received Academy Award nominations for his adaptations of The Hoursand The Reader.

LISTINGS

Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET
Box Office: 01225 448844
Website: www.theatreroyal.org.uk
Facebook: TheatreRoyalBath
Twitter: @TheatreRBath

Blithe Spirit
By Noël Coward
Directed by Richard Eyre
Designed by Anthony Ward
Lighting Design by Howard Harrison
Presented by arrangement with Lee Dean
Thursday 13 June – Saturday 6 July
Press night: Wednesday 19 June, 7pm
Performance Schedule: Mon – Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Thu & Sat 2.30pm (no matinee 13 or 15 June)
Tickets: £25.50 – £39.50 (Preview Perfs and Mondays, all seats £15)

Uncle Vanya
By Anton Chekhov in a new version by David Hare
Directed by Rupert Everett
Thursday 18 July – Saturday 3 August
Press night: Wednesday 24 July, 7pm
Performance Schedule: Mon – Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Wed & Sat 2.30pm (no matinee 20 July)
Tickets: £25.50 – £39.50 (Preview Perfs and Mondays, all seats £15)

Kathy Burke’s critically acclaimed Lady Windermere’s Fan, starring Samantha Spiro, Kevin Bishop and Jennifer Saunders to be broadcast live to 420 UK & Irish Cinemas on 20th March

Lady Windermere’s Fan

Lady Windermere’s Fan

Lady Windermere’s Fan

More2Screen has  announced the live cinema broadcast of Kathy Burke’s critically acclaimed new production of Lady Windermere’s Fan on Tuesday 20 March 2018, 7.15pm. Oscar Wilde’s social comedy is the second in the Classic Spring Theatre Company’s year-long Oscar Wilde Season at the Vaudeville Theatre and will be broadcast live by satellite to 420 cinemas across the UK and Ireland.

Award-winning director Kathy Burke (The Quare Fellow and Once a Catholic) has brought together a talented comedic cast in this beautifully staged production designed by Paul Wills. Jennifer Saunders guest stars as the Duchess of Berwick, marking her return to the West End stage for the first time in over twenty years. As a comedian, screenwriter and actor she is best known for writing and starring in the BAFTA-winning sketch show, French and Saunders, and the BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, which won international acclaim, a BAFTA and an Emmy.

Double Olivier Award-winner Samantha Spiro stars as the mysterious ‘other woman’ Mrs Erlynne. She first came to fame playing a young Barbara Windsor in Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick at the National Theatre, a role she recently reprised for the BBC drama Babs. She won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performances in Merrily We Roll Along and Hello, Dolly! Her other credits include Carnage, Psychobitches and Grandma’s House.

Following his starring role in the BBC’s remake of the classic comedy PorridgeKevin Bishop returns to the stage as Lord Darlington. As well as starring in Tracey Ullmann’s ShowRebel Wilson’s Super Fun Night and Peep Show, Bishop is also known for co-writing and starring in Channel 4’s The Kevin Bishop Show, which ran for two series. His recent stage credits include the one-man show, Fully Committed, and Once In A Lifetime at the Young Vic.

Lady Windermere’s Fan also features rising star Grace Molony, who recently won Best Actress in The Stage Debut Awards 2017 and will star in the upcoming feature film Mary Queen of Scots alongside Oscar Nominees Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. The role of Lord Lorton is played by Joseph Marcell, best-known for his role as Geoffrey the butler alongside Will Smith in hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirJoshua James plays the role of Lord Windermere. His recent stage credits include King Lear at Shakespeare’s Globe and Joe Wright’s Life of Galileo at the Young Vic, and he won a commendation at the Ian Charleson Awards for his performance in Young Chekhov at the National Theatre.

Lady Windermere’s Fan is the second production of the Classic Spring Theatre Company’s year-long season of Oscar Wilde at London’s Vaudeville Theatre and follows the highly successful A Woman of No Importance which was broadcast live to cinemas on 28 November 2017.

Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director of Classic Spring, comments: “Oscar Wilde was a lover of the modern in all its forms, and I’m sure the idea that his plays could now be broadcast live to so many people, in so many places, would have delighted him. We are very pleased that these glorious plays are going to reach an even wider audience and have life beyond their runs in the West End.”

More2Screen will also broadcast the final two productions of Classic Spring’s Oscar Wilde Season from the Vaudeville Theatre to cinemas nationwide: An Ideal Husband on Tuesday 5 June and The Importance of Being Earnest on Tuesday 9 October. Cinema tickets for the live broadcasts are now on sale at OscarWildeCinema.com

BBFC Cert: AS LIVE 12A | Running time 150 minutes (approx) including one interval.

#WildeSeason #WildeCinema #LWF