Annis, Spiro & Price Join Evans in Sheffield CompanyDate: 23 September 2011
Evans, who plays Bobby, will be joined by Francesca Annis as Joanne, alongside recent Olivier Award-winner Samantha Spiro as Amy, Lucy Montgomery as April, Rosalie Craig as Marta and former Chicago co-stars Anna-Jane Casey and Kelly Price as Jenny and Kathy.
Annis is returning to the musical stage for the first time in over 30 years to play the acerbic Joanne, whose numbers include “The Ladies Who Lunch”.
Speaking to the Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye, director Munby said the actress, recently seen in Time and the Conways at the National and Under the Blue Sky in the West End, gave him “goosebumps” at audition and has been taking singing lessons to prepare.
Other cast members of the production, which marks Company’s first major revival since Sam Mendes' Donmar production in 1996, will include Ian Gelder (Larry), David Birrell (David), Steven Cree (Peter), Claire Price (Sarah), Alistair Robins (Paul) and Samantha Seager (Susan).
Company, which has a book by George Furth, centres on the exploits of Robert (Bobby), a 35-year-old bachelor living in New York. When his (mostly married) friends throw a surprise party for him in his apartment, it sparks a series of vignettes examining the pros and cons of marriage, each featuring one of the couples and Robert. The score includes “Marry Me a Little”, “Being Alive”, “Side by Side” and “You Could Drive a Person Crazy”.
Samantha Spiro won the Whatsonstage.com and Olivier awards for Best Actress in a Musical for Merrily We Roll Along at the Donmar Warehouse in 2000, winning the Olivier again last year for Hello, Dolly! at the Open Air Theatre. Her other stage credits include Funny Girl, Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick, Bedroom Farce, Two Thousand Years and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Kelly Price and Anna-Jane Casey are also accomplished musical theatre actresses: Price’s West End credits include Chicago, Guys and Dolls (in which she co-starred Patrick Swayze and Adam Cooper) and Mamma Mia!; Casey was recently seen in a revival of Bells Are Ringing at the Union, with other credits including Chicago, Piaf, Sunday in the Park with George and Mack and Mabel.