Felicity Kendal Practices Profession in West EndDate: 21 December 2009
As previously tipped (See The Goss, 10 Dec 2009), Felicity Kendal will return to the West End in the new year to take the title role in a new production of George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs Warren's Profession. Following a regional tour, the Theatre Royal Bath production will open on 25 March 2010 (previews from 16 March) at the Comedy Theatre, where it’s booking for a limited season until 19 June.
Written in 1894 but not performed until 1902, Mrs Warren's Profession was one of Shaw's most provocative plays. In it, serious-minded Cambridge graduate Vivie Warren discovers how her mother turned to prostitution to fund their family's comfortable lifestyle. Mrs Warren's continued involvement in the world's oldest profession sets the pair at odds.
In Michael Rudman’s revival, which opened in Bath in October, Kendal is joined by Lucy Briggs-Owen as Vivie. The play was last seen in the West End at the Strand Theatre (now the Novello) in 2002 in a centenary production helmed by Sir Peter Hall and starring Hall’s daughter Rebecca as Vivie alongside Brenda Blethyn in the title role (See News, 12 Jul 2002).
Currently at the Comedy, The Misanthrope, starring Damian Lewis and Keira Knightley, who made her stage debut in the modern-day take on Moliere last Thursday (See Review Round-up, 18 Dec 2009), continues until 13 March 2010.