Prunella Scales will star in the stage adaptation of Nina Bawden’s best-selling novel about the wartime evacuation, Carrie's War, which will have a limited West End season this summer/autumn, marking the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II on 3 September 2009. The production runs at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue from 24 June to 12 September 2009 (previews from 18 June).

Carrie Willow and her brother Nick are wartime evacuees, billeted to the mining valleys in Wales with old Mr Evans and his kind sister Lou. At Christmas, they’re sent to Druid’s Bottom to collect a goose from Mrs Gotobed where they meet Hepzibah, the witch and eccentric Mister Johnny, and hear about the curse of an ancient skull.

Nina Bawden based her 1973 novel on her own childhood experiences as an evacuee in Wales during the War and it has been adapted twice for television by the BBC. The book has been adapted twice for television by the BBC, most recently in 2004. This stage adaptation, by Emma Reeves for Novel Theatre, premiered in 2006 at the Lilian Baylis Theatre at Sadler’s Wells. Reeves’ previous credits include the Novel adaptation of Louise May Alcott’s Little Women, which had a West End run at the Duchess Theatre in 2004.

In the new staging of Carrie's War, Scales stars as Mrs Gotobed, with Sarah Edwardson as Carrie. Others so far confirmed for the cast are Amanda Symonds and James Beddard, who also appeared in the 2004 screen version. Andrew Loudon directs.

Currently at the Apollo, Richard Greenberg’s Three Days of Rain starring James McAvoy, Nigel Harman and Lyndsey Marshal, continues until 9 May 2009 and is followed by short summer stints for Rob Brydon’s latest stand-up show and Marilyn, a ballet about Marilyn Monroe (See News, 5 Feb 2009), prior to the Carrie’s War opening.

- by Terri Paddock