Lesley Joseph (pictured) will bring her acclaimed solo show Singular Women to London's King's Head Theatre this autumn. The play by Stewart Permutt - who had a hit earlier this summer at the theatre with an extended season of Unsuspecting Susan, another one-woman show which starred Celia Imrie - will have a limited season from 25 September to 9 November 2003 (previews from 16 September).

A series of four monologues, Singular Women focuses on the stories of four extraordinary women. Bea is publicising a book about her late lover, a well-known comedian; Stella believes that what she doesn't know about chocolate isn't worth knowing; isolated spinster Frances innocently plays with dolls' houses while hiding a guilty secret; and Dora is a "perfectly formed small person" whose acting career is jeopardised during a run of Humpty Dumpty.

Best known as Dorien from nine series of Birds of a Feather as well as Night and Day on television, Joseph's stage credits include Annie, The Vagina Monologues, The Miser, Wonderful Town, Exclusive Yarns and, on tour earlier this year, Office Suite.

Singular Women was originally presented at the Edinburgh Festival in 1991 and has also been performed on BBC Radio 4. The King's Head season run marks its London premiere. In addition to Unsuspecting Susan, the theatre has also staged two more plays by Stewart Permutt, Comic Interludes and Singular People. He also wrote Exclusive Yarns, which transferred from Watford to the West End and was later broadcast on Channel 4 starring Joseph, with Patricia Hodge and Maureen Lipman.

Singular Women is directed by Lawrence Till, with design by Tim Shortall and lighting by Mark Doubleday.


Opening this week at the King's Head is Ian Bloomfield's opera-inspired musical A Comedy of Arias, which runs from 30 July to 31 August 2003, following previews 27 July (See News, 23 Jul 2003). Later in the year, Singular Women is due to be followed by Call Me Merman, David Kernan's tribute to Ethel Merman, which will star Angela Richards as the late Broadway legend.

- by Terri Paddock