Jennifer Saunders and Rupert Everett will feature in the opening plays of Theatre Royal Bath’s 2019 Summer Season, it has been announced.
BAFTA-winning comedian, actor and screenwriter Jennifer Saunders (French and Saunders, Absolutely Fabulous) will make her Theatre Royal Bath debut in Noël Coward‘s classic comedy ‘Blithe Spirit’, in which she will play the role of clairvoyant Madame Arcati.
“Novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth are literally haunted by a past relationship when an eccentric medium inadvertently conjures up the ghost of his first wife, Elvira, at a séance. When she appears, visible only to Charles, and determined to sabotage his current marriage, life – and the afterlife – get complicated”.
Written in 1941, Coward’s witty and inventive comedy proved a popular distraction at the height of World War II, when it was first staged. Since then, the show has enjoyed a record-breaking run in the West End and on Broadway, and remains one of the playwright’s most popular and enduring works.
Saunders will star alongside Lisa Dillon (BBC’s Cranford), who will play Ruth Condomine. Further casting is to be announced.
Directed by former National Theatre– and 5 time Olivier Award-winning Director Richard Eyre, the production will feature design by Anthony Ward and lighting by Howard Harrison.
‘Blithe Spirit’ is presented by arrangement with Lee Dean, and will run at Theatre Royal Bath’s Main House from 13th June to 6th July, with an official opening night on Wednesday 19th June.
Olivier– and Golden Globe nominee Rupert Everett returns to Theatre Royal Bath to make his directorial stage debut in a new version of Anton Chekhov’s ‘Uncle Vanya‘.
Everett will direct his first stage play and lead the cast in Chekhov’s masterpiece ‘Uncle Vanya’, ‘a playful story of unrequited love, loss and misplaced dreams’, in a new adaptation by playwright and screenwriter David Hare.
“It’s late summer, at the close of the nineteenth century. In the heart of the Russian countryside, Vanya and his niece Sonya have worked for years to manage the ramshackle estate on behalf of his brother-in-law, a retired professor. When the professor arrives with his stunningly beautiful young wife and announces his plan to sell the estate, all their lives are thrown into turmoil”.
Everett rose to fame in film ‘Another Country’, which earned him his first BAFTA nomination. Since then, he has starred in ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, ‘An Ideal Husband’, ‘Dance With A Stranger’, ‘The Madness of King George’ and ‘St Trinian’s’. His stage credits include ‘Blithe Spirit’ on Broadway and ‘Pygmalion’ and ‘The Judas Kiss’ in the West End. Everett recently received critical acclaim for his role as Oscar Wilde in ‘The Happy Prince’, which he also wrote and directed.
‘Uncle Vanya’ will in the Main House of Theatre Royal Bath from 18th July to 3rd August, with an official opening night on 24th July.
Theatre Royal Bath is also delighted to announce that is it extending its tenure with Artistic Director Jonathan Church for a further 3 years, to 2022. This follows Church’s inaugural summer season in 2017, and a hugely successful 2018 programme, with two West End transfers includes Arthur Miller’s ‘The Price’, currently playing at Wyndham’s Theatre, starring David Suchet and Brendan Coyle, and ‘Switzerland‘ at the Ambassadors Theatre, starring Phyllis Logan.