Major cast changes have now been confirmed for Trevor Nunn's award-winning National Theatre production of My Fair Lady at the West End's Theatre Royal Drury Lane (See The Goss, 28 Jan 2003). From 10 March 2003, Anthony Andrews (pictured) and Laura Michelle Kelly will take over as Professor Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle from Alex Jennings and Joanna Riding, who are currently in the running for 2003 Laurence Olivier awards for their performances in the musical.

At the same time, comedian Russ Abbot, last seen in the West End in Caught in the Net, will assume the role of Alfred P Doolittle along with other show newcomers Stephen Moore (Colonel Pickering), Hannah Gordon (Mrs Higgins) and Michael Xavier (Freddy Eynsford-Hill), while Patsy Rowlands will return to play Mrs Pearce. Katie Knight-Adams will play the role of Eliza at certain performances.

Anthony Andrews achieved international fame for his award-winning performance as Sebastian Flyte in the 1981 television adaptation of Brideshead Revisited. His other screen credits include Under the Volcano, Love in a Cold Climate, The Duchess of Duke Street and Upstairs, Downstairs, while on stage, he's been seen in Forty Years On, Ghosts, Vertigo and One of Us. Kelly comes direct from Mamma Mia! at the West End's Prince Edward theatre, while her other musical credits include Les Miserables and Whistle Down the Wind.

About to enter its third year in London, Nunn's revival of Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady first opened in March 2001 at the NT Lyttelton, where it ran for three months before transferring to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in July 2001. The production is designed by Anthony Ward with choreography and musical staging by Matthew Bourne. It's currently booking up to 28 June 2003.

- by Terri Paddock