Angela Lansbury is set to return to the West End stage in Noel Coward's BLITHE SPIRIT, after a 40 year absence.
At 88 years old, the legendary star of stage and screen will play eccentric medium and clairvoyant Madame Arcati, reprising the role that won her a Tony Award on Broadway in 2009.
BLITHE SPIRIT will begin a 15-week run from 1 March 2014 at the Gielgud Theatre (following Strangers On A Train), with opening night 18 March.
Lansbury told the Daily Mail, “You could say it’s my last chance. It isn’t! But you could say that. After all, I am 88 — in my 89th year now. But I’ve got many more years left. I do believe that.”
Coward’s classic comedy is “the essence of a Britishness long gone,” she said.
The paper reports that a London transfer has been on the cards for some time, but had to wait for the right theatre. Michael Blakemore, who directed in New York, will repeat those duties at the Gielgud with new costumes and sets.
Downton Abbey's Charles Edwards will play Condomine, opposite double Oliver Award winner Janie Dee as Ruth. Jemima Rooper is in negotiations to play Elvira.
The winner of five Tony Awards, six Golden Globes and an Honorary Academy Award, Lansbury was last seen on the West End stage in 1975, playing Gertrude opposite Albert Finne's Hamlet at the National Theatre.
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