Director Steven Pimlott – who, suffering from cancer, had to withdraw from directing the West End premiere of Kate Betts’ On the Third Day, the winner of Channel 4’s The Play’s the Thing competition (See News, 25 May 2006) – will return to work in the new year with a revival of Tennessee Williams’ 1951 play The Rose Tattoo, starring Zoe Wanamaker (pictured) at the National Theatre.

Though exact dates have yet to be confirmed, the production will join the NT rep in March, opening the annual £10 Travelex season in the NT Olivier. (The discount ticket scheme has this year been extended to the NT Lyttelton, where Attempts on Her Life and Sizwe Banzi Is Dead will open first (See News, 2 Nov 2006), on 14 and 21 March respectively.)

Wanamaker – last seen at the National in the 2003 stage version of His Girl Friday as part of the inaugural Travelex season - plays Serafina Delle Rose, an Italian-American widow in Louisiana who withdraws from the world after her husband's death and expects her daughter to do the same. Maureen Stapleton starred in the 1951 Broadway premiere of The Rose Tattoo, while Anna Magnani (appearing opposite Burt Lancaster) won a Best Actress Oscar for the her performance as Rose in the 1955 film version.

Wanamaker’s many other stage credits include Electra (for which she won an Olivier), Boston Marriage, The Old Neighbourhood, The Glass Menagerie, Dead Funny, Battle Royal, and earlier this year on Broadway, Awake and Sing!, for which she was Tony-nominated.

Steven Pimlott stepped down as joint artistic director of Chichester Festival Theatre last year (See News, 3 Aug 2005), prior to which he was an associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company where his many productions included Hamlet with Samuel West and Antony and Cleopatra with Alan Bates and Frances De La Tour. His other credits include Bombay Dreams, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and more than 30 operas around the world.

- by Terri Paddock