Blair Replaces Redgrave in New Noises CastDate: 13 July 2001
Isla Blair is to take over Lynn Redgrave's role as Dotty Otley in Noises Off from 7 August 2001. Other cast changes in the West End production at the Piccadilly Theatre will see Chris Langham replace Jeff Rawle and Robert Portal succeed Stephen Mangan. The three departing actors are leaving the show at the completion of their contracts.
A frequent performer on the stage, Blair has often teamed up with husband Julian Glover, notably in Terence Rattigan's In Praise of Love. Her film career has taken in Valmont and Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, with television work incorporating Inspector Morse and A Touch of Frost.
Chris Langham's West End roles number The Pirates of Penzance, Les Miserables and Art among them, whilst he is also a frequent radio and television writer and performer. Robert Portal has performed in many Royal Shakespeare Company productions, and recently appeared in Lindsey Posner's version of The Rivals.
Noises Off is written by Michael Frayn, and follows the madcap backstage antics of a touring theatre company. The current production opened at the Lyttelton Theatre in October 2000 to wide acclaim and re-opened at the Piccadilly on 14 May 2001. The play was first produced at London's Savoy Theatre in 1982 and ran for five years. A movie version, starring Michael Caine, Carol Burnett and Denholm Elliott, was released in 1992.
The show is directed by Jeremy Sams, whose other credits include Enter the Guardsman (Donmar) plus Wild Oats and Marat/Sade (both for the National). Lighting is by Tim Mitchell, with design from Robert Jones and sound by Fergus O'Hare.
- by Gareth Thompson