The story, adapted from the French play Les Enfants d'Edouard, revolves around best-selling novelist Denise Darvel (played by Collins), who unexpectedly confesses to her children that the handsome man in the portrait above the fireplace is not, after all, their father. In fact, the three children all have different fathers. In the interests of speedy respectability, then men are summoned for matrimonial inspection but alas, none have retained the allure of their youth.
Born in London, Collins first appeared on stage at the age of nine. She went on to achieve international fame as a model and actress in films such as The Stud, The Bitch, The Clandestine Marriage and, perhaps most notably, the American TV series Dynasty.
Collins last appeared in the West End in 2001, starring in Over the Moon. Her other stage appearances include Noel Coward's Private Lives at the Aldwych Theatre. She later made her Broadway debut in the same role.
Following Bromley, the new production will visit Southend-on-Sea, Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham, Wimbledon, Milton Keynes, Brighton, Glasgow, Woking, Newcastle, Nottingham, Manchester, Norwich, Bath and Malvern.
Ahead of Collins’ production, another British screen star, Tara Fitzgerald, will make a stage comeback in a revival of Ibsen’s 1879 classic, A Dolls House, newly adapted by Bryony Lavery. The Birmingham Rep production launches at Birmingham on 2 February before touring, to six further venues, until 28 March 2004. It’s then expected to transfer to the West End (See The Goss, 24 Oct 2003).
Fitzgerald, who plays Nora, is best known for her screen roles in Brassed Off, Sirens, Hear My Song and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Her stage credits include Antigone, Our Song and Hamlet, in which she starred opposite Ralph Fiennes at the Hackney Empire and on Broadway.
She’s joined in the cast by Richard Clothier, Maisie Dimbleby, Tom Goodman-Hill, Peter Guiness, Jane Gurnett and Petra Markham, in the production directed by Rachel Kavanaugh. Following Birmingham, A Dolls House visits Edinburgh, Darlington, Brighton, Richmond, Cardiff and Bath.
- by Hannah Kennedy