1. Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit

Angela Lansbury as Madame Arcati on Broadway (2009)
Angela Lansbury as Madame Arcati on Broadway (2009)
© Robert J. Saferstein

2. Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music

3. Queen Elizabeth in the forthcoming stage version of Shakespeare in Love

Judi Dench won an Oscar for playing Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love
Smith's fellow dame Judi Dench won an Oscar for playing Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love

4. Grandma in Billy Elliot - The Musical

5. Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Ernest (again)

Smith's portrayal of the Dowager Duchess in Downton Abbey seems ideal prep for the formidable Lady B
Smith's portrayal of the Dowager Duchess in Downton Abbey seems ideal prep for Lady Bracknell

What do you think of our selection? Add your own suggestions in the comments below...