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1st Night Photos: Imelda’s Friends Ride into Gypsy

By • West End
Two great ladies of British drama – Imelda Staunton and Eileen Atkins - joined forces last night (18 January 2007, previews from 11 January) in the world premiere of There Came a Gypsy Riding, the latest play by Irish dramatist Frank McGuinness (See News, 29 Sep 2006). And many of their illustrious friends – including Emma Thompson, Greg Wise, Jonathan Pryce and Graham Norton - came along to cheer them on, resulting in an unusually starry opening night for north London’s Almeida Theatre.

The play, directed by Almeida artistic director Michael Attenborough, centres on the McKenna family, who convene at their remote west of Ireland holiday home to mark the 21st birthday of their late son Gene. Eccentric cousin Bridget appears, invites herself in for cake, and makes ready to expose a family secret.

Staunton and Atkins are joined in the cast by Ian McElhinney, Elaine Cassidy and Aidan McArdle. The premiere production is directed by Almeida artist director Michael Attenborough and designed by Robert Jones with lighting by Paul Pyant and sound by Paul Arditti. It continues its limited season until 3 March 2007.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF THE THERE CAME A GYPSY RIDING 1st NIGHT PHOTOS, JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.

For last night’s 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand for the post-show party at the Almeida, along with the author, director, members of the company and other first night guests including Richard Wilson, Jim Carter (husband of Imelda Staunton), Matthew Marsh, Ray Fearon, Antony Sher, Gregory Doran, Jenny Jules, Charlie Condou, Orlando Seale and Indhu Rubasingham.

- by Terri Paddock


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