Cast: Bathurst & Norris in Blithe, Gate Woman
The production opens at the Theatre Royal Bath later this year (3-13 November), before a regional tour. It will transfer to the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue from 9 March to 18 June 2011 (previews from 2 March).
Sharrock previously directed Blithe Spirit in 2004, a production which also started life in Bath before transferring to the West End.
In the Noel Coward comedy, Charles Condomine (Bathurst) and his second wife Ruth (Norris) hold a séance so that he can learn the tricks of the trade as research for his new novel. What begins as after-dinner entertainment becomes a life-changing experience when the eccentric medium Madame Arcati (Steadman) inadvertently conjures up the ghost of Charles’ first wife Elvira, who’s determined to win him back.
Robert Bathurst was recently seen on stage in Alex, the stage version of the popular Daily Telegraph cartoon. Hermione Norris recently finished playing Ros Myers in BBC series Spooks, while her stage credits include Look Back in Anger at the Manchester Royal Exchange and September Tide at the Comedy Theatre.
Moore's short story is a “vivid evocation of womanhood and consumerism; and the many guises a woman must adopt to survive the modern urban society.”
The heroine will be played by four women, reflecting the various facets of her character - Faye Castelow, Samantha Pearl, Ony Uhiara and Cath Whitefield. Design is by Linbury award-winner Samal Blak, with choreography by Aline David.
The Shakespeare’s Globe revival of Christopher Luscombe’s 2008 production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, which runs from 14 August and 2 October, will feature many of the original cast.
Christopher Benjamin returns as Falstaff, alongside Serena Evans as Mistress Page, Sarah Woodward as Mistress Ford and Andrew Havill as Frank Ford. The cast will also feature Hollyoaks' Gerard McCarthy as Fenton, Barnaby Edwards as Rugby and Ceri-Lyn Chissone as Anne Page.
After its run at the Globe, The Merry Wives of Windsor will travel to Los Angeles and New York during the autumn, continuing partnerships formed during the Globe’s US tour of Love’s Labour’s Lost last year. The production will then return to the UK for performances in Milton Keynes, Norwich, Richmond and Bath.