Keith Brings Star Quality to West End's ApolloDate: 24 September 2001
Keith Brings Star Quality, a new version of Noel Coward's comedy starring Penelope Keith (pictured) and Una Stubbs, has confirmed its West End arrival. It will open at the West End's Apollo Theatre on 30 October 2001 (previews from 23 October) and is currently taking bookings up to 22 December. The production is currently on a regional tour, which launched at Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on 22 August.
The play, adapted from Coward's story and directed by Christopher Luscombe, relates the battle of egos that accompanies the staging of a new work. A backstage world of talent and treachery is revealed, peopled by a temperamental leading lady, a ruthless director and a jaded set of old troupers.
Penelope Keith trained at the Weber Douglas Academy and soon embarked on a career in repertory theatre. Keith was already successful on stage, and a member of the RSC, when she was cast in the major television comedy The Good Life as snobbish Margo Ledbetter. Another sitcom, To the Manor Born, followed later - also for the BBC. The actress appeared as Queen Elizabeth I in The Regina Monologues at the Covent Garden Festival earlier this year.
Una Stubbs is a Leicester-born dancer turned actress, who came to public prominence via the controversial television comedy series 'Till Death Do Us Part. She played the part of Sandy in the 1963 film Summer Holiday and her numerous stage credits include An Ideal Husband at Manchester's Royal Exchange, and Coward's The Young Ideal at Guildford.
Keith and Stubbs are joined in the Star Quality cast by Russell Boulter, Peter Celler, Nick Fletcher, Nick Waring and Marjorie Yates. The production is designed by Tim Goodchild with lighting by Rick Fisher. It is presented in the West End by Bill Kenwright.
Another Kenwright production, Gondoliers, a reworking of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, concludes its run at the Apollo Theatre on 29 September 2001.
- by Terri Paddock