Emma Ferguson (pictured) will replace the late Fritha Goodey in the upcoming tour of Terence Rattigan’s 1963 play, Man and Boy. The 32-year-old Goodey was found dead in her west London flat last Wednesday after apparently committing suicide (See News, 9 Sep 2004).

Of Goodey’s premature death, James Barber, director of Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, which is producing the Rattigan revival, said: “Everyone here and in the company of Man and Boy and the production’s director Maria Aitken were so much enjoying rehearsing with her and are, of course, devastated. Our thoughts are naturally with her family.”

Nevertheless, with Ferguson now in place as Countess Florence Antonescu, the young wife of Suchet’s character, the production will still open, on schedule next week, on 22 September 2004 at the Yvonne Arnaud (See News, 11 Aug 2004). According to Barber, though the company is “rehearsing very sadly”, they are “determined to continue our journey towards making Rattigan’s play the success that Fritha, David and all the company have always deserved."

Set in the 1930s, Man and Boy finds Suchet playing Gregor Antonescu, a powerful financier who visits his estranged son, Basil, at his Greenwich Village apartment in an attempt to extricate himself from the most catastrophic disaster of his career. After newspaper headlines report that the FBI is looking for Gregor, one by one, his wife and associates desert him. Only his son refuses to leave.

Following Guildford, the production continues, until 27 November 2004, to Cambridge, Cork, Bath, Malvern, Brighton, Plymouth, Oxford and Richmond.

Ferguson’s television credits include MIT, North and South, Mile High and Forty Something. On stage, she’s been seen in Amadeus and Ring Around the Moon.

- by Terri Paddock