Prunella Scales will star in Gertrude’s Secret - a series of monologues by Benedick West that received its premiere at the King’s Head pub theatre in Islington earlier this year - at Hampstead’s New End Theatre in the New Year. The production, directed by Andrew Loudon, will run from 9 January to 11 February 2007 (previews from 2 January).

Lonely Gertrude waits for her daughter to call on her birthday but there is a shocking revelation to come; Maureen’s promising relationship is certainly not all it seems; ludicrous Desmond reveals his plans to own the best sex shop this side of Birmingham; frightfully posh Candida’s life is transformed by her new Lithuanian au-pair; Tina relates her experiences of working in a tampon factory and losing her virginity in the station toilets.

Scales’ extensive acting credits include Sybil in the classic TV series Fawlty Towers, for which she is known across the world. On stage, her many notable productions include: in the West End, The Birthday Party, Just the Three of Us, An Evening with Queen Victoria and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg; at the Royal Court, The Editing Process and Some Singing Blood; and at the National, Single Spies, School for Scandal and Long Day's Journey into Night, as well as touring productions of The Cherry Orchard and The External.

Scales stars alongside Richard Leaf (Titus Andronicus, Bite of the Night and Measure for Measure with the RSC), Felicity Duncan (Joking Apart, Round the Horne… Revisited on tour), Christopher Knott (Journey’s End, Roleplay, Gameplan, Flatspin in the West End), and Jerusha West, who made her stage debut in the play’s premiere at the King’s Head this past October.

Benedick West’s writing credits include the full length play Contentment, as well as articles in many national UK newspapers and magazines. Three of the monologues in Gertrude’s Secret have been filmed, including Gertrude, featuring Prunella Scales, and Emily, featuring Jerusha West. Loudon’s directorial credits include Little Women and Anne of Green Gables at Sadler's Wells. He is also a writer and an actor.

Gertrude’s Secret is presented by the New End Theatre and Pure Bedlam Productions.

- by Caroline Ansdell