Alison Steadman Enjoys Bennett at Gielgud, 2 FebDate: 22 September 2008
Alan Bennett’s famous “flop” Enjoy will return to the West End in the new year, stringing accolades. Christopher Luscombe’s reclamation of the 1980 play, starring Alison Steadman (pictured), opened to critical acclaim last month as part of Peter Hall’s summer repertory season at the Theatre Royal Bath and is currently doing record-breaking business on tour (See New, 14 Apr 2008). After a Christmas break, it will transfer for a 14-week season at the Gielgud Theatre from 2 February to 14 May 2009 (previews from 27 January).
Enjoy is set in the playwright’s home town of Leeds, where an ageing couple living in the city’s last, and soon-to-be-demolished back-to-back are soon to be re-housed in a modern maisonette. When a sociologist comes to observe them in their daily life, normality takes a decidedly atypical turn.
Alison Steadman, whose most famous stage credits include creating the role of Beverly in Abigail’s Party and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (for which she won an Olivier), was most recently seen in the West End three years ago in Losing Louis. Her many screen credits include Shirley Valentine, Life Is Sweet, Topsy Turvy, Fat Friends, Fanny Hill and Gavin and Stacey.
Steadman is joined by stage and screen veteran David Troughton, whose most recent theatre credits include Macbeth, Measure for Measure, Playing with Fire and The Skin of Our Teeth. Also in the cast are Carol Macready, Josie Walker and Richard Glaves.
Just opened at the Gielgud last week (See Review Round-up, 17 Sep 2008), Rupert Goold’s Headlong adaptation of Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, starring Ian McDiarmid, is booking for a limited season to 8 November.
- by Terri Paddock