Among a handful of giants of British theatre there is just one or two who provoke warm smiles whenever their name is mentioned. Sir Michael Gambon is one (you're already smiling), Julie Walters is another.
Whether it's her masterful turns as Mrs Overall in Victoria Wood's Acorn Antiques or as the beguiling Rita, or perhaps even as Mrs Weasley in the Harry Potter series; Ms Walters tends to steal the show, as she has this preview. Hence, casting her is a career-making work of genius. Add to that a tack-sharp new work from Stephen Beresford and a supporting cast which boasts Helen McCrory, Rory Kinnear and Matthew Marsh - all immediately recognisable from high profile television roles - and you have yourselves a sure-fire hit.
The Last of the Haussmans is the story of a homecoming summer of sorts as the dispersed family find themselves once more under the roof of Judy Haussman (Walters). The high society drop-out is something of a free spirit and she resumes her role as matriarch to oversee a month or two of fun, laughter, alcohol and regret. High on laughs and rich with pathos, The Last of the Haussmans promises to be worthy of its sparkling cast.
The Last of the Haussmans is at the Lyttelton Theatre at the National on London's South Bank from 12th June until Sunday 16th September 2012. We have tickets available now, priced from £31 for circle seats to £47 for the best stalls.
The strong cast, not least the presence of Walters, means that tickets are likely to sell very quickly. Do not hang about or you might just miss Judy Haussman's party.