Further casting details – and one change – have been released for three upcoming West End plays: The Philadelphia Story, which opens at the Old Vic on 7 May 2005 (previews from 3 May); As You Like It, opening at Wyndham’s Theatre on 21 June 2005 (previews from 3 June); and, ahead of that at Wyndham’s, The Vagina Monologues, which opens on 7 April 2005 (previews from 4 April).


At the Old Vic, American film actor DW Moffett will play journalist Mike Connor opposite Kevin Spacey (to 18 June only) and Jennifer Ehle, as CK Dexter Haven and heiress Tracy Lord, respectively, in the revival of Philip Barry’s 1939 Broadway comedy, which was famously made into George Cukor’s 1940 Oscar-winning film, starring Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. Moffett’s screen credits include Falling Down, Rough Magic, Stealing Beauty, Joe’s Wedding, Traffic, Thirteen and Twisted.

As previously announced (See News, 16 Mar 2005), the company also features: Julia McKenzie as Margaret Lord, Oliver Cotton as Seth Lord, Nicholas Le Prevost as Uncle Willie, Richard Lintern as Tracy’s fiancé George Kittredge, Lauren Ward as photographer Liz Imbrie, Damien Matthews as Sandy Lord and Talulah Riley as Dinah Lord. The production, directed by Jerry Zaks and designed by John Lee Beatty, is currently booking until 6 August 2005 but is due to extend its limited season once more, taking it to 3 September. There has not yet been an announcement as to who will replace Spacey during his absence for filming commitments.


At Wyndham’s, The League of Gentlemen’s Reece Shearsmith (pictured) will make his classical stage debut playing Jaques in As You Like It. Along with his fellow League comedians, Shearsmith has previously appeared in the West End in Art (See News, 17 Sep 2002). In addition to his League credits, he’s appeared on screen in Catterick, Spaced, Birthday Girl and Shaun of the Dead.

As previously announced (See News, 11 Mar 2005), As You Like It also stars Sienna Miller as Celia, Helen McCrory as Rosalind and Dominic West as Orlando. It’s directed by Young Vic artistic director David Lan and designed by Richard Hudson and is booking until 3 September.


Also at Wyndham’s, actress Naomie Harris has had to withdraw from the West End return of The Vagina Monologues due to filming commitments. She’s replaced by Diane Parish (from TV’s The Bill and Lovejoy). As previously announced (See News, 11 Jan 2005), the cast for Eve Ensler's celebration of female sexuality this time around also features rocker’s wife and reality TV star Sharon Osbourne, her daughter Aimee Osbourne (the one not seen on MTV show The Osbournes) and actress-author-comedienne Jenny Eclair.

The Vagina Monologues, subtitled "An Anthropological Exploration", reveals a series of different women's stories and experiences involving their genitalia. The material was gathered from hundreds of intimate interviews, conducted by Ensler, in which women were asked probing questions such as "If it (your vagina) could talk, what would it say?". Its limited season continues until 14 May 2005.

- by Terri Paddock