Stage regulars Sandra Dickinson, Simon Jones and Jemima Rooper have joined the cast of Michael Blakemore’s forthcoming production of classic comedy Blithe Spirit, which will be led by Tony Award winner Angela Lansbury.
The trio will join previously announced cast members Lansbury, Janie Dee and Charles Edwards, and recent RADA graduate Patsy Ferran who will make her professional debut in Noël Coward’s farce when it begins its run at the Gielgud Theatre this March.
Telling the madcap story of a dinner party where a séance with a seemingly dodgy local clairvoyant Madame Arcati causes a marital feud between the living and the dead, Dickinson and Jones, who both appeared in the legendary BBC series The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, will play friends to the fractious couple, the Bradmans.
Boasting careers on stage and screen spanning more than four decades apiece, the pair have an impressive list of starring credits to their names. British actress Dickinson, whose many comedy television appearances include The Two Ronnies and the BBC’s new comedy series Uncle, most recently appeared in Singin’ In The Rain, adding to her many London theatre credits including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Terry Johnson-directed The Graduate, Orpheus Descending at the Donmar Warehouse and A Streetcar Named Desire, in which she starred as Blanche DuBois.
Jones, who will reprise the role as Dickinson’s on stage husband Doctor George Bradman having already played it on Broadway opposite fellow cast member Lansbury, began his career on radio in the UK before forging a successful career on the New York stage. Recent credits include high profile productions of The Real Thing, Private Lives, School For Scandal and Benefactors, in which he was led by Blithe Spirit’s director Blakemore.
Taking on the ghostly role of the show’s protagonist Charles Condomine’s (played by Edwards) unwittingly summoned dead wife Elvira, Rooper returns to the stage following the huge success of the National Theatre’s One Man, Two Guvnors, in which she originated the role of Rachel Crabbe at the South Bank venue and its subsequent West End and Broadway transfers.
A National Theatre regular, her roles at the venue also include Her Naked Skin and The Power Of Yes, while the actress also won plaudits for her West End role in Howard Davies’ critically acclaimed All My Sons.
The star-studded cast will take to the Gielgud stage from 1 March (press night 18 March) following fast moving thriller Strangers On A Train, which will conclude its run at the venue on 22 February.