In Wilde’s 1895 satire, Mrs Cheveley (Bond) attempts to ruin the career of politician Robert Chiltern (Alexander Hanson) by producing incriminating evidence about his past. However, she hasn't reckoned on the faithfulness and good memory of his devoted wife (played by Rachael Stirling), nor the assistance of his philandering friend Lord Goring (Elliot Cowan).
Hanson will return to the West End fresh from his Broadway success in Trevor Nunn’s Menier Chocolate Factor revival of Sondheim musical A Little Night Music. Bond’s many previous West End credits include Arcadia, Donkeys’ Years, Amy’s View and Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance; on screen, her credits include Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond films.
Others lined up for the cast of An Ideal Husband include Caroline Blakiston, Charles Kay and Fiona Button. The production is directed by Lindsay Posner, designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis, lit by Peter Mumford and produced by Kim Poster for Stanhope Productions.
This will be the first West End outing of An Ideal Husband in over ten years, since the frequent forays of Sir Peter Hall’s long-running revival which, from its initial opening in 1992 ran for more than six years at various venues including the Old Vic, Albery (now the Noel Coward), Gielgud (twice) and Theatre Royal Haymarket (three times) as well as a stint on Broadway.
Currently at the Vaudeville, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, starring Hollywood’s Jeff Goldblum and Mercedes Ruehl, is due to finish its limited season on 25 September. It’s followed briefly, from 29 September to 10 October, by Australian comedian Pam Ann.