Some of the biggest names in the world of stage and comedy acting will perform at the acclaimed Richmond Theatre over the coming months, as part of the 110th year of its existence.
Felicity Kendall, Matt Lucas, Su Pollard, Edward Woodward, Jo Brand and Michelle Dotrice will tread the boards in South-West London, starring in a few unlikely roles it must be said.
Traditionally, Jo Brand is seen railing against the injustice of vitamin levels in loaves of bread and the rising cost of chocolate but from September 15th - 19th , she will appear in "Pirates Of Penzance" as the Sergeant Of Police. Brand will be the first ever female Sergeant, a true sign of the times with equal opportunities being promoted to good effect. A special 110 yr anniversary evening is planned for the 18th with Timothy West, Tim Vine and Prunella Scales confirmed as guests - should be a good night.
Matt Lucas brings the Simon Bent play, "Prick Up Your Ears", to Richmond just prior to its West End run. The story centres around gay playwright Joe Orton and the swinging 60s as well as his relationship with co-collaborator, Kenneth Halliwell. Richmond is one of only 3 venues to have this interesting production in residence prior to hitting the West End.
'Tomorrow, tomorrow....you're only a day away' - the infamous lyric from one of the most familiar musicals of all time will resound around the auditorium for just 5 nights from Sept 1st to 5th. Yes, it's Annie and a crew including Hi-De-Hi legend, Su Pollard, singing the strains of "Hard Knock Life" and "Easy Street" plus more rags-to-riches anthems. Family tickets will be available.
Felicity Kendall still looks like a little pixie, even after all these years - obviously the Good Life has paid dividends and preserved her aura and cheeky smile. However, her character in Bernard Shaw's "Mrs Warren's Profession" during November is somewhat shady since she has funded her daughter's expensive via hooky gear....well, suspected ill-gotten gains shall we say. The relationship between mother and daughter is explored to some degree in this involving play. Kendall's upper-class friend and nemesis in The Good Life, Margo, also makes an appearance in Richmond a month earlier in "Entertaining Angels", a light-hearted tale of a clergy's wife finding out how great life really is after the death of her husband. But the truth about that marriage comes to light when her estranged sister arrives on the scene. Home truths abound.
Edward Woodward and Michelle Dotrice are husband and wife in real life so should find the gentle rigours of "Love Letters" a breeze. But the story involves them being apart for half a century - they met at school, they kept in touch through written correspondence (no Facebook here) and they did everything apart, but they never got back together and never discovered what they should have done. The letters outline a bittersweet relationship between the two of them whilst individually marrying, divorcing and entering latter middle age. Want to know what was written? There are just 3 performances from Sep 10th to 12th in which to find out!
Other high-profile appearances will also include Neil Morrissey (fresh from his beer-creating antics) in "Rainman" and Liza Goddard in "The Grass Is Greener" - see dates below for details. Richmond Theatre is about 5 minutes walk from the tube/rail station and just off the Green. Here's to another 110 years!